SCCA National Convention 2020 Closes with Hall of Fame Ceremony

LAS VEGAS, Nev. (Jan. 18, 2020) -- Ten individuals, all who have made significant contributions to the Sports Car Club of America® (SCCA®) and world of motorsports, became official members of the SCCA® Hall of Fame Saturday evening during the Awards Banquet that closed out the 2020 SCCA National Convention at South Point Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada. However, many other awards and honors were handed out during the annual gathering. Below is a rundown of those accolades.

 

Woolf Barnato Award: Charlie Davis, San Francisco Region

This is SCCA’s highest award and is presented to a member who has made an outstanding, long-term contribution to the Club.

 

David Morrell Memorial Award: James Foyle, Southwest Louisiana Region

This award is presented to encourage continued participation in the Steward’s Program by recognition of an active National Chief Steward who has exhibited outstanding performance and dedication to the sport and the highest principles. The winner is selected by the Chairman of the Stewards and the Executive Stewards.

 

President’s Cup: Robeson Clay Russell; Central Carolinas Region

Presented to the driver demonstrating ability, competitiveness and success at the National Championship Runoffs®. The winner is selected by the Stewards of the Meeting and the Chief Steward of the National Championship Runoffs along with the President and CEO of SCCA. The inaugural presentation in 1954 was performed by President Dwight D. Eisenhower.

 

Member of Excellence: Rich Bireta, Kansas Region

Selected by SCCA’s Board of Directors, this award is presented to the volunteer who shows the greatest commitment to SCCA activities. The recipient can be involved in Solo, Rally and/or Road Racing. This person personifies the SCCA volunteer who gives of his/her time and effort to help organize, work in a specialty or any volunteer role necessary to a motorsports event.

 

John McGill Award: Glen Thielke, Milwaukee Region

Presented for significant contribution to the Road Racing Program. The winner is chosen by the Club Racing Board and the Vice President of Road Racing.

 

Dirty Cup: Leon Drake, Tennessee Valley Region

This award is presented annually by the RallyCross Board to recognize an individual that has made an extraordinary contribution to the sport of SCCA RallyCross. This award normally recognizes contribution over time. The award recipient can make their contribution as a competitor, organizer, worker, administrator, etc. The contribution of the winner shall have had a positive impact on the program nationwide.

 

Spark Plug Award: Jon Seaton, Arkansas Region

For an outstanding effort in promoting and publicizing RallyCross using multimedia to further the recognition and growth of RallyCross. This can be given to an individual, region or division.

 

Divisional RallyCross Achievement: Central Division

This award is presented in recognition of a Division’s activities in RallyCross for a new or on-going program. This may include events, promotions, attendance, innovation in public relations, etc. Nominations clearly indicating the qualifying details may be made by any Rally participant, with the recipient being selected by the RallyCross Board.

 

Regional RallyCross Achievement: Atlanta Region

This award is presented in recognition of a Region’s activities in RallyCross for a new or on-going program. This may include events, promotions, attendance, innovation in public relations, event participation, etc. Nominations clearly indicating the qualifying details may be made by any RallyCross participant, with the recipient being selected by the RallyCross Board.

 

Robert V. Ridges Memorial Award: Bruce Fisher, Detroit Region

Bob Ridges was Secretary of the RoadRally Board from the inception of the National program in 1957 until his death in 1965. This award is presented to the SCCA member who exemplifies the highest degree of dedication and sportsmanship in the sport and who has made an outstanding contribution to the success of an event. This award is not intended for sitting RRB members, Official Observers, Rallymasters, or Officials unless they have clearly demonstrated extraordinary dedication, achievement, and/or sportsmanship above and beyond the duties and responsibilities of their office. The recipient is selected by the RRB based on recommendations of any Rally participant or Board member. This is the highest honor within the SCCA Rally Program and may not be presented each year.

 

Arthur J. Gervais Award: Jim Crittenden, Milwaukee Region

Arthur Gervais was a longtime Rallymaster of the Historic New York National RoadRally. The award is presented annually to the year’s outstanding National Course Rally. The winner is chosen via a vote of the top 20 competitors in each class who have competed in at least four events. Prior to 1989, this award encompassed all National Rallies each year.

 

W. David Teter Tour Rally of the Year: Kate and Clarence Westberg, Land O' Lakes Region

David Teter was the editor of the modernized and comprehensive RoadRally Rule Book, Rallymaster of seventeen consecutive March Lamb Regional rallies, and an outstanding competitor on the NTR circuit. This award is presented annually in recognition of the outstanding NTR. Selection is made by vote of the top 20 competitors in each class who have competed in at least three events in that class.

 

Divisional RoadRally Achievement: Central Division

This award is presented in recognition of a Division’s activities in RoadRally for a new or on-going program. This may include events, promotions, attendance, innovation in public relations, etc. Nominations clearly indicating the qualifying details may be made by any Rally participant, with the recipient being selected by the RoadRally Board.

 

Regional RoadRally Achievement: New England Region

Presented in recognition of a Region’s activities in RoadRally for a new or on-going program. This may include events, promotions, attendance, innovation in public relations, event participation, etc. Nominations clearly indicating the qualifying details may be made by any Rally participant, with the recipient being selected by the Road Rally Board.

 

Best New Regional RoadRally Program: Susquehanna Region

The Best New Regional Road Rally Program Award recognizes creativity at RoadRally events.

 

The Tom Burke Awards

The Tom Burke Awards are presented to Regions for exemplary efforts to activate and grow the SCCA.  Formerly named the Chairman’s Award prior to 1987, one award is given to the RE of a Region in each of the Region Size categories from the preceding year. The awards are given in honor of SCCA member Tom Burke. His love of SCCA and passion for what we do not only ignited in others a desire to become SCCA members, but also served as a call to engage in SCCA activities. Mr. Burke’s ambassadorial approach to prospective and current members served as a model for the spirit of the SCCA.

- Small Regions (under 200 members): Old Dominion Region; Mark Sanetrik, Regional Exec.

- Medium Regions (201-400 members): Glen Region; Ed Zebrowski, Regional Exec.

- Large Regions (401-800 members): Cincinnati Region; Tony Brown, Regional Exec.

- Jumbo Regions (over 800 members): Central Florida Region; Stephen Mullen, Regional Exec.

 

Region of the Year Awards

The Region of the Year Award gauges a Region’s management team performance relating to the SCCA’s Goals and Business Strategies. Winners are as follows.

- Small Regions (under 200 members): Puerto Rico Region; Jose de Miguel, Regional Exec.

- Medium Regions (201-400 members): Utah Region; Kevin Schulz, Regional Exec.

- Large Regions (401-800 members): Buccaneer Region; Don Johnson, Regional Exec.

- Jumbo Regions (over 800 members): Houston Region; Larry Svaton, Regional Exec.

 

And finally, the Hall of Fame honorees inducted Saturday evening were: Bill and Jane Goodale, Walt Hansgen, Scott Harvey, Joe Huffaker, Cat Kizer, Bob and Patty Tunnell, and Dave and Sherrie Weitzenhof.

 

Bill and Jane Goodale

Within the Sports Car Club of America, Bill and Jane Goodale have been far more than accomplished drivers. They have been leaders, facilitators, officials and even mentors. It could be argued that most SCCA members have been affected by their efforts, certainly on the Solo side. But beyond that, the grace, kindness and sense of inclusion they’ve displayed has become a hallmark of SCCA’s Solo Program.

 

Jane was Solo Chair during the 1970s when New England Region’s Solo program was just beginning to be a presence. She traveled the ProSolo circuit and went on to lend support to the Region and fellow competitors, and was well known as host of the Region party at Solo Nationals. Meanwhile, Bill was New England Region’s first, and for decades only, Solo Novice chair.

 

In the early years of Solo Nationals, Chief Stewards were usually from outside the Solo community. When that changed to instead utilize those involved in autocross, Bill was one of the first to be asked to fill the role. He did for decades, working with and mentoring many others who have taken on the role as Solo Nationals grew. Bill’s record in competition was impressive, too, as he was named the 1989 Driver of Eminence, received the 2010 Solo Cup, and claimed several national championships along the way.

 

Walt Hansgen

A member of the Northern New Jersey Region since joining SCCA in 1951, Walt Hansgen’s influence and impact in American and European sports car racing was immense. As a competitor, Hansgen achieved much. He was a four-time SCCA “C” Modified National Champion, a three-time recipient of SCCA’s President’s Cup, and competed at world-class endurance events, NASCAR Grand National races, and a couple Grands Prix. Hansgen was also named the New York Times “Best Driver of the Year” and Sports Illustrated “U.S. Sports Car Driver of the Year.”

 

Hansgen’s successful racing career aside, he was a very active member of the Northern New Jersey Region where he held the Regional Executive position. On a National level, he served on the Competition Board and worked diligently to improve the Club’s road racing program, safety standards and competition rules. Additionally, Hansgen conducted racecourse safety inspections, making recommendations for circuit improvements to benefit drivers, crew and spectators alike -- standards that are still in use today. Hansgen also served as an early president of the Road Racing Drivers Club (RRDC).

 

Scott Harvey

While attending UCLA in the 1950s, engineering student Scott Harvey began rally and racing efforts in an MG-TD. By 1956, he had joined the Sports Car Club of America and was working as a Chrysler engineer in Detroit where he managed to convince superiors to loan him a 300D for motorsport activities -- the first in a long string of Chrysler products he competed in over the years. And while some know Harvey for engineering high-performance suspension parts, his real impact came through advancing the sport of performance rally.

 

It is Harvey’s early adoption of the European idea of high-speed rally that landed him in the SCCA Hall of Fame. He helped form a club, called The Ralligators, that worked alongside SCCA’s Detroit Region to create European rallying in the United States. Harvey was instrumental in creation of the MONY (Michigan, Ohio, New York) rally series, with most MONY events being SCCA rallies. This eventually led to creation of the SCCA PRO Rally series in 1973, which Harvey became first overall champion. Before that, he had participated in traditional Time-Speed-Distance (TSD) rallies where in 1963 and 1964 he won the SCCA National TSD championship.

 

In 1968, Harvey served as Chairman and Rallymaster of the Press On Regardless rally, a milestone event for the sport in America and the longest running rally event in SCCA history. Under his leadership, Harvey and the Press On Regardless were awarded the prestigious Arthur Gervais Rally of the Year in 1968 by SCCA, the first time a "performance" rally had been selected for the award. Harvey was also instrumental in bringing the World Rally Championship to the United States with his involvement in the 1972 Press On Regardless rally, an event in 1973 and 1974 with World Championship status.

 

Joe Huffaker

“Little” Joe Huffaker, the son of 2017 SCCA Hall of Fame inductee Joe Huffaker, has made a big mark in Sports Car Club of America road racing. At an early age, the younger Huffaker helped out around his father’s garage before “officially” joining Huffaker Engineering in the early 1970s. Over the years he gathered a lot of useful knowledge, from his father and great drivers and mechanics, before taking over the business in 1991 when his father retired.

 

The younger Joe, however, didn’t just continue his father’s work. He significantly expanded the operation to become a force throughout SCCA Club Racing and Pro Racing, maintaining the highest possible standards in car construction and presentation, regardless of the series. As proof, note the fact that Huffaker Engineering has produced over 35 SCCA Runoffs® National Championship cars and claimed three SCCA Trans Am titles. Their successful record has earned the Huffakers the honor of being the very first father-son duo to be inducted into the Sports Car Club of America Hall of Fame.

 

Beyond his car and engine building prowess, “Little” Joe -- who actually stands 6 feet 5 inches tall -- is an equally talented racecar driver. He has too many wins to count in SCCA road racing competition. But a couple highlights, as of 2019, include his 13 poles at the Runoffs and 10 National Championships gathered up across two different classes in cars he designed, built and prepared -- a feat that stands as testament to Joe’s immense talent.

 

Cat Kizer

A continuous member of SCCA since 1976, Catherine “Cat” Kizer holds a special place in SCCA history. She was the first female to be crowned a Runoffs champion, and the only woman to be awarded the President’s Cup. These two accomplishments have made Kizer a role model for other female racers.

 

It was 1979 when Kizer made history at Road Atlanta during the National Championship Runoffs. She faced a formidable field of competitors, many of whom were previous national champions. Starting from eighth on the grid, she quickly drove her H Production Red Roof Inns MG Midget into the lead. A great battle ensued up front, but it was Kizer who was first to the checkered flag. That inspiring drive earned her the prestigious President's Cup award that year. The following year, Kizer was back at the Runoffs, placing her car on pole and finishing third in the race.

 

Bob and Patty Tunnell

The Solo duo of Patty and Bob Tunnell have posted an illustrious record when it comes to autocross competition. From Volkswagens in the early 1980s, through a long and storied stretch driving BMWs at many preparation levels, the married couple achieved success few have matched. They have claimed numerous Solo Nationals Championships and ProSolo Championships across many classes and categories, from Stock through Modified, in cars which were not the obvious choice for victory. Bob’s recognition awards from SCCA have included the Solo Cup and, together with Patty, Driver of Eminence.

 

Beyond their success between the orange cones, the Tunnells stand as an example of how to be active, involved members of both the Solo community and Club as a whole. Bob has served the Club on a variety of fronts, including time on the Solo Events Board and as a Chief Steward for Solo Nationals. Patty and Bob have also lent their valuable experience and positive attitude to the Club’s burgeoning Time Trials National Tour program. All throughout, the Tunnells never forgot how important it is to encourage experienced competitors to befriend and mentor those new to SCCA activities. Their kindness and compassion are also on display through philanthropic endeavors that create a very positive image for the Sports Car Club of America.

 

Dave and Sherrie Weitzenhof

Dave Weitzenhof’s record over more than 50 years of SCCA road racing demonstrates his skill as both a driver and technician. Overall, he has seven SCCA National Championships and was presented with the Road Racing Drivers’ Club Mark Donohue Award in 1972, as well as the 1977 SCCA President’s Cup trophy. But as Dave himself admits, none of that would’ve been possible without the help of his wife, Sherrie Weitzenhof, who has been by his side and an instrumental part of the “team” throughout half a century of racing. The fact that Sherrie is officially recognized as a “Friend of the Road Racing Drivers’ Club” proves that point. Furthermore, Sherrie supported the SCCA NeOhio Region by organizing many events, including the successful and long running Competition Clinic, and she chaired the NeOhio Hall of Fame committee.

  

To his credit, Dave earned four SCCA Runoffs wins in the highly competitive Formula Ford class, as well as a pair of Formula Continental Runoffs victories and a Formula Vee SCCA National Championship. Beyond that, he has won far too many SCCA races to count. Outside the car, Dave was an accomplished engineer with Bridgestone/Firestone and has numerous patents to his name. Throughout his involvement in SCCA racing, Dave openly shared insights on car setup and vehicle dynamics, as well as his tire expertise with fellow racers. Some of that know-how was deployed while serving as a test driver for development of the Sports Renault program, which evolved to become Spec Racer Ford -- one of SCCA’s most popular car classes in road racing.

 

The Sports Car Club of America®, Inc., founded in 1944, is a 67,500-member motorsports organization that incorporates all facets of autocross, rally and road racing at both Club and professional levels. With headquarters in Topeka, Kansas, the SCCA annually sanctions over 2,000 events through its 115 Regions and subsidiary divisions. Much of the SCCA’s activities are made possible with support from the following Official Partners: Hagerty, the Official Insurance Partner of SCCA; Hawk Performance, the Official Brake Products of SCCA; Sunoco, the Official Fuel of SCCA; and Tire Rack, the Official Tire Retailer of SCCA. To learn more, please visit www.scca.com.

 

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