March 23rd Membership Gathering

A visit with Ray Sorensen and Blackdog Racing Team McLaren

Ray Sorenson

On Saturday March 23rd the Chicago Region SCCA hosted a visit at Blackdog Speed Shop with Ray Sorenson; Blackdog Vice President and Racing Team Manager.

This year the Blackdog Racing Team opened a new chapter in their long and successful history as they field two new McLaren 570S GT4s. Tony Gaples team owner/driver is set to campaign one of the new McLaren 570S GT4 in the Pirelli GT4 America Sprint Championship. A longtime Chevrolet competitor the team made the switch to McLarens over the winter and Ray shared some of the stories that went with this undertaking. Blackdog took delivery of the two cars mid-February just a month before the first race in St. Petersburg Florida. Ray spoke of long days and hours as they sorted out the new cars. He explained to the group how the rules apply to this new car and what few changes they can make. Ray also spent some time talking about the speed shop and the different cars currently in the shop. He told us the tale of Scott Sanda’s GT2 Mustang and the tire wall, and the late sixties Corvette race car that is experiencing a complete frame-up restoration.

The Chicago Region also took this opportunity to recognize Vincent D’Angelo, Mady Corrigon, Daniel Lopez, and Chak Lee, from Northwestern University, School of Engineering Formula SAE racing team. Formula SAE (FSAE) is an intercollegiate engineering design competition organized by the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE), where student teams design, build, and race formula-style cars. FSAE began in the USA in 1978, and now includes hundreds of international teams that compete in eight competitions around the world. The FSAE series is internationally regarded as one of the most rigorous collegiate design competitions. Each year, teams spend 8 to 12 months preparing for competition. The events the schools partake in are autocross type competitions with two major events. The first is in Michigan and the second takes place in Lincoln Nebraska where the teams compete for several top prizes. The Region’s Board of Directors presented the four students with a check in the amount of $500.00 dollars to help support their efforts. The Region is also providing the team with entry for their race car at our Solo events for testing and practice. 

Attendance for this event was around 60 people and everyone had plenty of time for one on one conversations with Ray and Tony. There was also time to take a close look at the new McLaren 570S and the other ongoing projects, as well as look at the many cars for sale in the shops showroom. If you missed out on this event there will be more coming up and Blackdog is hosting a charity cruise-in car show / open house on June 15th.