THE RUNOFFS; NOBLE AND McCAW IN HoFs; HANS BOOK; HARRY HEUER; CHATTANOOGA

RRDC AT THE RUNOFFS

Wednesday evening, the Club held its annual Runoffs Dinner at the Plantation House on the grounds of Virginia International Raceway. Calvin Stewart organized the fete with the help of track owner Connie Nyholm. Some 40 members and guests were in attendance. Here are a few.

It was the first time the SCCA National Championship Runoffs was staged at the venerable Virginia International Raceway, and the program went off with nary a hitch. Brilliant early Fall weather prevailed all week until the final races Sunday afternoon when a steady rain temporarily broke a severe Mid-Atlantic drought. Farmers were thrilled. Racers, not so much. RRDC members captured four national titles.

Andrew Aquilante won his ninth national championship, taking the GT2 gold medal in his Phoenix Racing Corvette. His tenth title looked to be in the bag until an engine problem in his Phoenix Racing Mustang erased a half-minute lead on the last lap of the T1 race. He still managed to limp home second for his 13th Runoffs medal. Aquilante’s sister Amy crashed hard on the fourth lap of the A Sedan race Friday, suffering a concussion. She was ambulatory Sunday. Father Joe qualified 17th for the T1 race but did not start. [SCCA image]

Eric Prill (7) won his second F Production championship in three years in his Maxton’s Fight Mazda Miata. Margin of victory: 0.096sec over Charlie Campbell (89). The two swapped places at least 20 times over the 15 laps. It was the 2017 Mark Donohue Award winner’s sixth consecutive medal finish, his eighth overall. [SCCA image]

The 2010 Donohue honoree Peter Shadowen won his third GT Light national title and second from pole in his Road N Race Auto Honda CRX. He also placed eighth in P2 in his West WX10 Suzuki. [SCCA image]

Tim Minor took the Formula Continental championship – his first national title – in his Automotive Specialist Citation US2000. [SCCA image]

RRDC member Buddy Lazier’s son Flinn won Formula Atlantic in his Tivoli Lodge Swift 016a Mazda.

2015 Donohue winner Calvin Stewart scored a solid second in F500 in his Novakar Blade F600 Suzuki, his second championship and third Runoffs medal.

In a rare shutout, 15-time national champion John Heinricy failed to take a title this year despite starting from pole in T4 winding up fifth in his Toyota 86. He did score a third-place medal in his A Sedan Camaro.

JPM engine guru Jesse Prather took third in E Production in his BMW Z3 2.5L.

Rob Hines was fifth in T3 in his Toller Racing 2002 BMW SpecE46 and also placed 14th in Spec Miata. Seven-time national champion Pete Peterson also took a fifth place in GT2 in his Toyota Celica.

Other members had varying results:

Jim Downing, Elan DP02 Mazda, 13th in P1; Kevin Fandozzi, Camaro, 17th to 8th in AS; Steve Sargis, Spitfire, 14th in HP after starting on pole; Michael Varacins, Van Diemen RF00, 8th in Formula C; Joe Huffaker, MG Midget, faded to 19th after starting third in GT Light; James Goughary, GT2 Nissan 350Z, DNS.

 

BILL NOBLE IN INAUGURAL FORMULA VEE HALL OF FAME CLASS

The newly formed Formula Vee Hall of Fame inducted its inaugural class in ceremonies at Virginia International Raceway, Oct. 8, during the SCCA National Championship Runoffs. The late Bill Noble, an RRDC member from 1992 until his passing in 2011, was one of the four members of the 2019 class. Noble is a five-time SCCA National Formula Vee Champion and has built the winning engines for another 20 Runoffs winners. His widow Lisa Noble accepted the honor for Bill. The three other members of the inaugural class were Caracal Cars owner Fred Clark, DRE prep shop partner Butch Deer and transmission guru, the late Bob Lybarger.

 

HOW THE HANS HELPED SAVE RACING – A NEW BOOK

Noted motorsports journalist Jonathan Ingram has penned the HANS story – “CRASH! From Senna To Earnhardt” with Dr. Robert Hubbard and Jim Downing. This is the inside story of the 20-year struggle by the late Hubbard and his brother-in-law Downing to gain universal acceptance for their life-saving device now in use by more than 275,000 racers worldwide. It’s an amazing tale of family, genius, perseverance, tragedy and triumph – how the world’s leading motor racing sanctioning bodies came to grips with the task of saving their driving heroes from the scourge of the basil skull fracture which most probably saved the sport. CRASH! and other Ingram books are available on his blog.

 

CHATTANOOGA MOTORCAR FESTIVAL IN PHOTOGRAPHS

A number of RRDC folk and other motorsports luminaries were prominent at the Inaugural Chattanooga Motorcar Festival, particularly our own Judy Stropus who handled publicity and other media matters. Here are a few Patrick Tremblay images from the event:

Burt Levy explains it all to Grand Marshall Brian Redman. [Patrick Tremblay image]

Dorsey Schroeder was Competition Director for the time trials. [Patrick Tremblay image]

Alain de Cadenet doing his thing. [Patrick Tremblay image]

Linda Vaughn doing her thing as only Linda can do. [Patrick Tremblay image]

 

McCAW INTO NW MOTORSPORTS HALL OF FAME

Bruce McCaw is one of seven new members of the Northwest Motorsports Hall of Fame to be inducted in ceremonies at the World of Speed Museum in Wilsonville, Ore., on Saturday, October 19. Previous RRDC members inducted into the NW HoF include Robert Ames, Hershel McGriff and the late Pete Lovely.

 

REMEMBERING HARRY HEUER – 1936-2019

Heuer at his first driver’s school at Wilmot Hills in 1958… the launch of a brief but sparkling career in big modified machinery.

Harry Heuer, one of the foremost big modified drivers of the late 1950s and early ‘60s, passed away May 25, 2019, in Casper, Wyo. He was 83. Road America’s historian Tom Schultz’s book Meister Brausers, Harry Heuer’s Championship Racing Team” was introduced at the track in July, just over a month after Heuer’s death. D. Randy Riggs recently posted a remembrance of Heuer in Vintage Motorsports.

 

 

 

 

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