As the 1st half of the Team Pan Am Club Racing season comes to an end, I felt it would be a good time to update all Pan Am Region racers. Over the past 9 months I have tried to bring excitement and spirit to the Club Racing Program. I think that is being achieved. The success of the club racing program within our Pan Am region has never been stronger. We have 4 racers who have been very active racing both in the Arizona Region and the Rocky Mountain Division. We had a championship solo driver make the cross over to club racing and attended an SCCA driving school and is just a few races away from securing his Regional SCCA Club Racing Competition License. That racer is John Basler. I had the opportunity to race with John and after I what I saw, there is no doubt that John can be a Regional Championship driver within the RMD. He is dedicated and very excited about his future in formula car racing. The Pan Am Club Racing Endowment Fund was started last year with a committment to raise $12,500 over the next ten years with the funds used solely for Pan Am Club Racers who may need assistance in defraying costs of club racing. The balance of the endowment is in excess of $4300 currently and the fund has awarded thousands of dollars in assistance to our own Pan Am Club racers. Most recently John Basler was awarded $200 for his SCCA driving school expenses and trip to Colorado. In the past National drivers Jose Gerardo and Stan Czacki has been awarded cash checks, and Hector Maldonado was awarded a cash check to help keep his Club Racing License. The endowment will continue to support or own Pan Am region racers. While the Pan Am Region is mostly made up of Solo drivers, we welcome anyone who wants to make the move up to Club Racing. Any of the Team Pan Am Club Racers will anwser any questions. I want to thank Dave Leschrall (hopefully spelled right) for introducing the name Team Pan Am, it really brings a harmony to our racers and our program. While you see Team Pan Am mostly here on the forums related to club racing, all Solo drivers need to be reminded that they are part of the Team Pan Am Solo Racers. At the June BOD meeting, I suggested that the Pan Am region adopt and redesign our region logo. As of this date Solo racer Fred Hernandez has already suggested his changes and Jose Gerardo has his graphics designer working on a new design also. Once the new designs are approved, we will most likely have new logos for Solo racers, Club Racers, and Rally racers. For the Team Am Club Racers the new logo will used to develop and introduce a Team Pan Am Club Racing shirt which will be paid for from the Endowmwnt fund and given to our team members. Hopefully this will promote a team spirit within the club racing program and help promote the Pan Am when racing within other regions and divisions.
Here are the current Rocky Mountain Division points standings for the 1st half of 2008 racing season. Both National and Regional points are listed.
National Team Pan Am Club Racers
Stan Czacki ..... Class SSB ....Currently 4th Place.....Total points: 44
Jose Gerardo.....Class FC........Currently 1st Place.....Total points: 64
Mark Kowalski...Class SM........Currently 8th Place....Total points: 17
Regional Team Pan Am Club Racers
Richard Dziak.....Class FB.......Currently 1st Place....Total points: 48
Mark Kowalski....Class SM......Currently 7th Place...Total points: 18
Tim "T.J." Schoeppner....Class SM...Currently 14th Place...Total Points: 4
Team Pan Am Club Racers hold track records at Firebird International Raceway, Phoenix Arizona, Sandia Motorplex, Albuquerque, NM. Team Pan Am racer Jose Gerardo set the new track record at Firebird International in Class FC and Richard Dziak set the track record for Class FB on Sept 16th, 2007 at Phoenix International Raceway, Phoenix Az, and set and broke his own track record at Sandia Motorplex, Albuquerque, NM on June 6th, and 7th, 2008
As of this date Team Pan Am Club Racers Stan Czacki and Jose Gerardo appear to be invited to the SCCA national Runoff's the premier race for the SCCA Club racing program. That event will take place in Oct 2008 at Heartland Park Raceway, Topeka, Kansas.
As of this date Team Pan Am Club Racer Richard Dziak, may be the first Pan Am region racer to capture 2 Regional Championships in one year. There has been no other Pan Am Club racer in the history of the Pan Am region that has won 2 Regional Championships in one year. Richard Dziak has already won the 2007-2008 Arizona Regional Saguaro Points Championship in his new Formula F1000 and leads the Rocky Mountain Division regional championship series for 2008. Richard has 2 more events that he will enter in the fall of 2008.
Soon Team Pan Am racer Hector Maldonado will be completing his FC to FB conversion and will be testing and racing his car soon. Hector has been working hard stripping out his old F2000 Pinto engine to rebuild the car adding a Suzuki 1000 CC Superbike engine to his formula car.
So while the Pan Am region is small in club racing counts, we have made a positive impact in the Arizona and RMD Division Club Racing programs. In the fall John Basler and Hector Maldonado will be racing in the Arizona region schedule.
All Pan Am racers, whether solo racers, rally or club racers should be very proud of the accomplishmenst that our club racers have made. As the Team Pan Am Club Racing Chairman I will keep all members posted on our upcoming events and victories. It has been a pleasure working with the club racers to promote club racing and build a spirit of racers who can represent the Pan Am region in a professional manner. Club racing in our little region is alive and well, and growing.