In regards to the recent posts here, I would like to make a few clarifications.
As the Pan Am Club Racing Chairperson, I attend the meetings on a monthly basis. The latest Pan Am Club Racing membership list shows 12 club racers. Not all are active, not all listed members actively race or own cars anymore. If the Pan Am membership was defined, we would have about 6 or 7 club racers who actually enter events. Jaime Dryden has sold his Formula car, Tim Schoeppner informed me that he sold his car. The list can never be 100% up to date, because all memberships do not expire in the same month. In the past meeting the information presented showed that 4 Pan Am Club racers were active within the last 4 months. The Arizona season for 2008-2009 has concluded with the last race on April 4th..5th, 2009 at Firebird. Prior to the 2008-2009 Arizona Region season ending, Mark Kowalski has been an active driver in 2008. T.J. Schoeppner attended the race in Albuquerque, NM for the Rio Grande Region event in June of 2008, an event called the Western Sprints, along with Richard Dziak attending and Mark Kowalski. Jose Gerardo was active in 2008, Hector Maldonando converted his FC to Class FB during the summer and was active in 2008 on 2 events, as was John Basler, Stan Czacki and Ben DeWitt. That was it, to my knowledge.
Now that we have entered 2009.....the racing season has just began for many of our Team Pan Am Club racers. Economics and work schedules will play a role in who races and who doesn't. Along with economics there are also mechancial issues. John Basler will be sidelined as he blow out his motor at PIR in Phoenix. Jose Gerardo may not race in 2009 due to economic reasons and is dedicating much of his time to his business. Hector Maldonado has not renewed his SCCA license as of yet, and has not made any specific plans for 2009 except an early enter for the ARRC race at Road Atlanta in November 2009. Richard Dziak will join up with the Southwest Motorsports racing group in Albuquerque, NM for racing at Sandia during the summer. Stan Czacki who is now fully retired continues his quest for a National Championship at Road America for the SCCA runoffs in 2009. Mark Kowalski has added National Points towards the SCCA Runoffs for 2009. Other than what is listed, I know of no other Pan Am club racers being active. I am sure that Ben Dewitt who carries a Pan Am membership will race in Colorado during 2009. As of this date, that's all I know and what was reported.
There was no intent in the minutes provided for the April meeting to leave any team Pan Am Club Racer out of the loop. As the club racing chairperson, I watch for all our members results via the internet, and have always posted and promoted our own racers. For a small club we have a great contingency of active racers. As more of the Pan Am paid members enter races their racing stories and results will be posted on our forum just as I have done in 2008. I am here to promote and acknowledge ALL active Pan Am Club racers. I am hopeful that more of the paid Pan Am Club racers will attend more events. I fully understand that there are other circumstances and individual life events that prohibit our members from racing.
Many of our members have been racing outside of our RMD Division, with me being one of them. I find racing with the Arizona Region to be fun, easy to tow to events, and they are a highly organized region. By racing with the Arizona Region ....Pan Am Club Racers have a rare opportunity to race at Phoenix International Raceway, a premier race track along with Firebird International a top notch facility. For myself, the tow to the Colorado is too far and exhausting. Recent stock market activity and the economics of the USA dictate that I can be away from my office for only limited periods of time. Therefore, with the new track in Colorado ....High Plains Raceway....is a 15 hour tow each way. I will not be attending races at that track. Nor will I most likely attend any events in Colorlado due to the long haul. I have decided to concentrate my racing efforts this summer with events closer to home (Las Cruces, NM) and with an outside organization of the SCCA. I am going to step out of the SCCA box for the first time in 6 years. Once the fall season starts in Arizona, I will most likely be back with the SCCA Club Racing events located there in the Phoenix area.
For those Team Pan Am Club Racers who attend events, feel free to update me via private emails or add your racing information here on our own Pan Am Forum. We all want to know what our Club Racers are doing. If you know of someone interested in club racing, you can either answer their questions personally or have them contact me. I am always promoting club racing and the one main reason John Baslwr has stepped up to club racing is the fact that I personally introduced him to driving my Formula F2000 and he was hooked. We can always use more club racers. Certainly club racing is a huge step above the SCCA Solo Racing program, due to the style and requirement of the SCCA GCR for club racing and most of all, the costs involved to race. Those club racers who are active, usually have steady higher incomes, or are retired and have the time and retirement funds to make the long haul and can afford the costs to race. There can be no doubt that the current economic conditions are playing a part in reduced car counts in the Phoenix Region and other geographical areas of the USA. When I checked into my hotel in near Firebird International Raceway in Phoenix, the hotel manager stated that due to declining race sponsorships, track attendence at FIR has been way down from past years.
As for the possibilty of moving from the RMD to the SoPac Division, I personally believe it makes lots of sense to do so. I was entertained with the idea back in March 2009 by a past Arizona Region RE. Our own club racers are attending more and more events with the Arizona Region, Yes, there is no doubt that the present makeup of the Pan Am Region is a Solo Class Region. I have found that to be true for many years. Many solo racers in the El Paso area, just can't afford the club racing programs and costs associated with club racing. For that very reason, club racers should not deny the Solo racers the opportunity to do their thing. Each SCCA Region and club needs to generate revenues to survive and remain viable. That is why when attending club racing events, we see more PDX clinics and see the new SCCA Time Trails. Arizona Region has also added vintage race cars to their weekend programs to generate additional revenues. The cost to rent FIR in Phoenix I was told, is $5000 per day. Add in EMT's, tow trucks, SCCA insurance and the costs are high. I believe moving to the SoPacDiv might provide our Pan Am region with the opportunity to bring a race back to ArroyoSecoRaceway in the future. The Solo program in Arizona is very strong, and looking at the attendence in Solo racing in Phoenix, Tucson, and Sierra Vista, Arizona, it could have a positive effect for our regions own attendence. As of this date, it's only discussion. The idea was discussed at our last board meeting. Members that don't attend the monthly meetings must remember that our BOD are always working hard, dedicating their own free time to make our Region successful in Solo Racing, Club Racing and Rally events. It doesn't matter how many cars are in individual classes as compared to classes that may have 2-3 or 4 cars in the respective classes. There is no doubt that Spec Miata, RX7 are the trend. Formula car race counts have been very low recently, but that shouldn't demean the class for only 2 or 3 cars vs 20+ for Spec Miata or RX7. The run groups presented by most regions are very diverse with car classes. It is not unusal to see 10+ classes within one race group. All club racers are out to achieve the same result regardless of the car count in any one race group. As for myself, the Formula F1000 is a new class within the SCCA. There are very few cars to compete with, so understandably it's easy to record victories and championship titles. Low class car count drivers should not be deprived of victories or championships. I am out on the track with the DSR,CSR,FA,FM,FB,FC,S2000 race cars. When Spec Miata first started, the car counts were low. Now that class has grown and it qualifies for national events. In past years they did not qualify for National status.
All Pan Am Club racers that have been active know the costs and time it takes to be in this side of the SCCA racing program. We want to keep positive attitudes for all types of racing within our own region, and support all of our members whatever type of racing they do.
I look forward to seeing our club racers and meeting new club racers in the future at events. The main thing to remember is we are priviledged to do what we do. Many men and women would love to be able to afford real race cars, driving them on real tracks, and have as much fun as we all do. Most importantly we are members of an elite group of racers. We are Team Pan Am Club Racers.
Keep in touch, and be sure to let us know your questions, comments, concerns or complaints.