December 22, 1996

Another year is almost gone and there is still so much left to do! It seems the “off season” gets shorter each year, leaving us with even less time to attend to those non-emergency items on our list. Last month’s event at Homestead continued our string of spectacular weather for the races - temperatures were relatively mild and the racing was not... Although the turnout was lower than expected, the 14 cars that did compete had some good times (for the most part) and enjoyed the hand-lettered, magnetic parts bowl trophies provided by Rich and Mahala Ernst - thanks for an inspired choice and all the effort involved in producing them! We also enjoyed the luxury of sharing adjacent garages - thanks to the efforts of Morriss and Chris Holliday who traded working on Friday for the reserving of the 3 garages! It was this gesture, in part, that earned Morriss the Amato-Hinton award for conduct in the true Vintage tradition. Congratulations and thanks!!!

Also awarded at the Homestead event was the annual “Spirit of Vintage Competition” award which is determined by votes cast by the Vintage group racers themselves. This award is presented to the Vintage participant who most ideally symbolizes the philosophy and spirit of vintage competition. This spirit most often places friendships and fair play above finishing position (though not always evident on the track...). This year’s recipient has demonstrated these attributes since the beginning of the Vintage program and continues to provide assistance in a number of areas each year - not the least of which is some great blues on Sunday mornings! It pleased me a great deal to award the Spirit of Vintage Competition Award this year to Mike Jackson. Thanks, Mike, for providing a role model for some of our newer participants and a friendly ear to some of our “veterans”. I applaud the decision of our voting participants!

This year, our season ends on the last weekend of the year! This coming weekend, Vintage will be one of the two support race groups at the Second Annual “Longest Night” 24-hour race at Moroso Motorsports Park. Between the Vintage group and the GT shoot-out, our Region hopes to show the spectators the wide spectrum of classes involved in SCCA racing (I guess the formula classes will be represented by some of our Vintage cars - particularly if a certain Formula 5000 is there...). When you think about it, Vintage does have the widest range of cars represented simply because of our being “lumped” together as a single group; not particularly fair to the smaller displacement cars, but that’s the way it goes sometimes...

Along these lines, I’d like to get some member feedback on the format of races for the coming year. Some have voiced interest in some “handicap” races (each car being individually started from the hot pits based on qualifying time). I don’t see any reason why we couldn’t have at least one of the three races we run on the normal race weekend started in this manner (my vote would be for the Sunday morning 5-lap race for this format). Similarly, we could run a race where the grid was simply inverted (slowest car on the pole); however, everyone would have to agree not try to attain the lead by turn 1... The only real problems with this format is the potential traffic problem on the start - this would require some real thought and discussion - any ideas? Any other formats for races you want to consider? Any other types of events you would like to propose? (I vote for more food fights, but then, that’s only my opinion...) Next year’s season begins in February at Moroso so get your comment/suggestions to me early...

Doug DeLong is beginning to put together a Web Site for SCCA Vintage Racing in Florida with pictures of cars and drivers, and perhaps a driver biography or two... Those interested in having the likeness of their car or person on the net should send the photographs to Doug at 569 South Country Club Rd., Lake Mary, FL 32746; Doug promises to return the photos once they have been successfully scanned.

I am looking for volunteers to assist in the selection of trophies for the coming year. Some fresh ideas are always welcome and I am more than happy to pass this facet of the event planning on to someone else. The framework for awards is simple; any item for around $10 or less that a vintage racer might enjoy is acceptable. As examples, in the past we have given key chains, engraved silver platters, bags of shop rags, magnetic parts holder bowls, jewelry cases, crystal vases, clipboards, stopwatches, montage picture frames, storage boxes, toolbox stools, neck coolers, barbecue aprons, hand-colored artwork of vintage racing, a collection of master forms and checklists for racers, custom made “flower pots” (made from pistons and bent valves) and a variety of other items. Pretty much any item that you think would be apropos would do. If you are willing to help out, or simply have a suggestion for an award, please contact me. The club pays for the awards so no financial commitment is required - only a willingness to share your ideas and, perhaps, devote a little time to event organization.

The 1997 schedule, as I know it, hasn’t changed since the last one I sent. A copy of the schedule is available from my Web Page at http://www.netcom.com/~nobozos/ and another accompanies this newsletter. The schedule posted on the net will be updated as changes occur so I encourage you to visit it often during the early months of 1997 when most of the changes happen.

I am looking forward to the continued growth of our Vintage program during the coming year. But as we grow, let’s not forget the fundamental purpose of Vintage Racing - have fun and make friends! I am very thankful for the good friends I have made in this sport and wish the same for every other participant.

Best wishes for a joyous and safe Holiday Season to all - see you either this weekend or next year! Keep the shiny side up!


John A. Rollins, Vintage Race Coordinator
Florida Region, SCCA

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Changes last made on: Thu Dec 26 05:47:40 1996