Roebling Road Time Trial – Great Season ender!

MIMG_1081any of our SEDIV Time Trial and PDX drivers braved the cold to come to Roebling Road in mid November to participate in the LAST CHANCE Time Trial! Some came for seat time on a legendary southern track. Some came to compete against many of the best TT drivers. Some came to clench their position in the 2014  SCCA Southeastern Division Time Trial Championship. ALL came to have fun and that …they DID!

Savannah, GA weather was chilly both mornings but warmed up with little wind.  The corner workers and event staff did a great job of communicating, keeping the course safe, and handling flow of the event. We owe a big thanks to Track Management (Kaye McCloy), Registration (Wanda Cecil), Control (the Buells), Timing and Scoring (Neil Harmon), Mark Rothermel (Safety Steward), Steve and Vicki Eckerich along with Shane Findlan (Tech), Bob DeLoatch (Flagging Chief) and all the course workers who braved the cold so the event could happen! Our drivers appreciate you ALL!  IMG_1084 Aside from a few radiator hoses that decided to open up, the event ran smoothly and the groups got all the track time they wanted. Many of our Time Trial drivers volunteered to help instruct for our PDX (Performance Driving Experience) group sessions. This is a great opportunity to get quality instruction on the track in a safe setting.  All PDX drivers (Novices driving with instructors and  Intermediate and Advanced classes) did a great job!

Final Results are here : Saturday / Sunday and pictures from the event are below . The Championships were decided in many classes based on the results of this double points weekend. Your 2015 SEDIV Time Trial Champions who will each be receiving a trophy at the Annual SEDIV banquet January 30, 31 at Sea Palms St. Simons, GA  are :

Scott Sipler BSP 1 CCR-61
Johnny Valencia BSP 2 CCR-61
Shane Findlan BSP 3 CCR-61
Paul Crouch CF 1 CFR-83
Rajat Aggarwal CSP 1 CCR-61
TJ  Theodore CSP 2 CCR-61
Tony Ewing CSP 3 TVR-93
James Wood CSP 4 CCR-61
Ken Owens EP 1 DIX-95
Robert McManus ESP 1 CCR-61
Brian Gause ESP 2 CCR-61
Martin Bartlett FSP 1 CCR-61
Mark Rothermel FV 1 TVR-93
Bill F. Coffey GT1 1 FLA-11
Bill Coffey GT2 1 BUC-34
Don Squirek ITA 1 ATL-3
George Bowland Special 1 CCR-61
Mike Breakey SPU 1 CHA-94
Ted Theodore SPU 2 CCR-61
Ron Richey SPU 3 ATL-3
Michael Tablas STL 1 CCR-61
Vicki Lanning Eckerich STU 1 CCR-61
Rocco Bocchicchio SU 1 ETR-68
Lars Lattstrom SPO 1 CCR-61

A BIG thanks to the Buccaneer Region for hosting the Last Chance Time Trial and PDX at Roebling Road. We look forward to joining you again next year! 

(Pictures by : Ted Theodore)

DRAGON 7 HILLCLIMB – A Weekend to Remember!

SCCA’s Central Carolina Region hosted another great event in Robbinsville at the 7th Chasing the Dragon Hillclimb presented by TOYO!  Although weather played a role in keeping our drivers from records being set, the competition was close in many classes. Over 2400 spectators came to watch the event and enjoy hamburgers, BBQ and funnelcakes  while watching cars and drivers compete for trophies and cash on the 2.2 mile course. The range of cars went from rally cars, a vintage MGA, Porsche GT3 RSR , Evo, Ariel Atom, Brunton Staker, FFR Daytonas, chump cars and many street prepped cars. We had great attendance of drivers along with many first timers at our hill. We also welcomed back Cory Friedman, our current overall record holder and the first winner of the Dragonslayer sword at the very first Dragon Hillclimb in 2011.

The event began earlier in the week with Ted Theodore, George Bowland and others that came to prep the hill, cleaning, mowing and weed-eating the worker and spectators areas. Hay bales were wrapped in white plastic and placed along the course. We owe a big thanks to all who came, worked, towed trailers and helped set up and take down the mountain. Rolling out 2 miles of wire from the back of a truck is a lot of work but necessary for timing and scoring. The hardest part is at the end of day Sunday, rolling it all back up! (Thanks Scott Sipler for staying and helping). Friday, registration was held downtown at The Hub before drivers took their places in the paddock and set up for the weekend. First timers on the hill met Friday night at Microtel to go over the course, the danger areas, protocols and event flow with an instructor and mentors.

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Saturday morning went smoothly with our Launch tire and dragon in the air and course green. The damp course was a challenge for our drivers and some did get bit by the dragon. The saying “Saturday is for wreckers and Sunday is for checkers” is never more true than at a hillclimb! In spite of the occasional rain, the competition heated up in many classes and put on a great show for our spectators and course workers. We were honored to have Area 12 Director Tere Pulliam running her first hillclimb in a CSP Miata! Thanks to her and her husband Larry for coming and running with us! I suspect we will see them on the hill next year in THEIR car! We were also pleased to have Thach take a run up the mountain again in Elvira. Thach is a NC Highway Patrolman who is well known in the area… and if we can get him a car, whatever class he is in will have a new contender!

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The Saturday night dinner at the Huddle House was enjoyed by workers and drivers. Steak night has now become Steak AND Hat night with prizes for best hats.

Sunday was some slight rain on and off during the day and the course never did completely dry out. While this made record setting runs impossible, it created extra challenge in the competition to get the most out of their cars while making safe runs. Our drivers did a fine job and the crowd cheered on our drivers with cowbells. The younger spectators had plenty to do meeting drivers, getting autographs and playing with dragons! One driver who hoped to make this year’s hillclimb had started a car build specifically for this event and tracked his progress through a blog. He was unable to chase away all the gremlins and decided to leave his car home and come watch. One of our drivers, Rocco Bocchiccio offered his BMW to allow Perry Boykin to make his dream of a hillclimb run! THIS is the sportsmanship and fun we see all see and enjoy! You can expect Perry and his wife, Jamie will be joining us at Dragon 8 in their own car! Another driver and long time hillclimber, Ray Cockerel from Black Mountain, NC began a build of his F500 well over a year ago. He completed the car and with support from his wife Sheila was able to debut his car at the Dragon! We look forward to having Sheila back running with us next year. Another driver, Roy Erickson, bought a Miata 2 years ago with the dream of building it up specifically for time trial and hillclimb. His car known as Breester was finished a week before the event and he fulfilled his goal of competing. Two other drivers Nate Wimbrow and Bill Hightower were co-driving Nate’s  Spec Miata and had the differential pop on their first run on Saturday. This was disappointing as Nate brought family down from New Hampshire just to run this event. A few phone calls later, Henry and Joe Bryan Payne with HP Motors in Pelzer, SC  offered their ITA Miata  on loan to Nate. Nate spent all day Saturday taking his car back to Greenville, picking up the ITA so he could run Sunday! All went well with their Sunday runs and the weekend was not lost. Thanks to Joe Bryan and Henry for their help!

At the close of the event, we brought our drivers, crews, event staff and many spectators that stayed for the trophy presentation. Tabitha arranged for Miss Black Knight to assist our Dragon (Julius Binninger) with awarding the trophies and money! There were too many outstanding drives : First timer Ned Neuhaus did amazingly well in his Brunton Stalker. Matt Brandenburg and Sebastian Kokoszka in their first run at the Dragon were fearless in their rally cars! Gage Gregory is always fast on the edge in his car… another great run! Another first time, Allen Skillcorn in the LeGrand DSR was 3rd overall in his first event! Cameron Lane with a 4th place was hoping for a better finish but 4th overall is excellent. With some new findings after the event, Cameron may have found a little some extra to show up with at the Dragon 8!  George Bowland, Robert Martai and Robert McManus finished in 5th, 6th and 7th with awesome runs especially considering the weather. In the end, no ladies were close to Vicki Lanning Eckerich as she captured ANOTHER Dragonslayer sword for Queen of the Hill. For King of the Hill, it was Heikki Rinta-Koski  in his Locost 7 and Cory Friedman in his Porsche GT3 RSR. Both turned in incredibly fast runs on the damp course… with Heikki turning in a 117.510 (just a second slower than his best time ever) and Cory running a 116.487. Cory took the King of the Hill honors for the second time and now is the owner of TWO Dragonslayer swords. Heikki owns six swords and will be back in the Spring, ready to do battle with the Dragon again!

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We owe many thanks to our sponsors, TOYO Tires, Appalachian Tire, Greg and The Hub, Brent and Shelly Hyperformance, Grassroots Motorsports, Darryl and Lori of Killboy.com, HeadHeldHigh.com, Tabitha, Steven, Meghan, Jessica and Nikita  from Graham County Travel & Tourism. Also thanks to our event staff, Don Drennon and his F&C workers, Rich and his Timing and Scoring Staff (Eric, Nancy, Lea, Julius). Thanks to Mark Wall who sweated away all weekend to be our on course Sasquatch! Rick Mitchell, Lance, Barbara, Robert, our grid/starters and stewards did an awesome job! A Special thanks to Mark Eversoll … excellent job on communications and control. Steve Eckerich in the CCR Board members who all stepped up to help! AND a thanks to all the first time workers like Jaime and Amanda Honeycutt. We appreciate greatly the sponsors and support from Graham County : Tabitha with Travel & Tourism, Terinda and Charlie with US Forest Services, NC. DOT, Juanita at GC Transit, Matt and Amanda at  Huddle House and Lary and the Graham County EMS and Rescue Squad. Thank you ALL for your help and support! We will see you again in the Spring when we wake the Dragon for Dragon 8!      FULL RESULTS :   chasing the dragon 7_fin_ chasing the dragon 7_raw_

SCCA Time Trial Licensing – Here’s How!

How does a person obtain a license to compete in SEDIV Track Trials (Level 3) and Hill Climbs (Level 4)?  The easy way out would be to tell you to go to www.scca.com and figure it out.  It is all there but sometimes it is easier to understand if someone distills it down to simple steps.  Everything I say herein is related to Track Trials (Level 3) and Hill Climbs (Level 4) and not necessarily to Level 1 (PDX) and Level 2 (Club Trials) which do not require a SCCA TT permit.

 1. SCCA MEMBERSHIP: You must be a SCCA member to compete in Time Trials (TT).  You can be a regular full time member or use one of the Weekend Memberships that are available.  SCCA would like us to charge $15 for a Weekend Membership but it can defray the cost of a regular membership when you join.

2.LICENSES ACCEPTED:  If you have a SCCA Regional, National, Professional, Vintage, Novice Competition License or a Canadian ASN-FIA License, they are sufficient for racing in Time Trials.  If you have a road race license from a recognized racing organization (BMWCCA, POC, NASA, Rally America, etc), it is usually sufficient for Time Trials.  The other licenses are permitted will be specified in the event Supplemental Regulations (Supps).  SCCA membership (i.e., weekend membership) is still required.  SCCA licenses are often recognized by other racing groups.

3.NOVICE TT PERMIT:  Other than the above, step one would to obtain a Novice Time Trials permit.  The permit application form and medical forms can be found the websites below.  The cost of the permit is $35 and the only medical information required is a self certification of your medical history.  No doctor’s exam is necessary at this point unless you have some special medical condition and SCCA will let you know that when they review your application.  You can then race using the Novice TT permit.  Some events are set up such that the Chief Steward can issue TT Novice credentials at the event itself.  Contact the particular event chairman.  Finish 3 flat track events (Level 3) without incident, have the Chief Steward of each event sign off on your Novice Permit Book, and you can then apply for your full TT permit (see Step 6).

4. HAVE TRACK EXPERIENCE?:  Alternatives to the novice TT permit route do exist.  If you are a former competition (race, TT, etc.) license holder or have significant track experience, that can be used to grant you a full TT permit without going thru the Novice permit stage.  There are a few officials (TTAC representatives, Divisional Administrator, Chief Stewards, certain Regional Executives, etc.) within SEDIV who can sign off on your full TT permit application.

5. SEDIV TT SCHOOL:  Another alternative is somewhat unique to SEDIV.  SEDIV holds a TT School at the spring event held at Talladega Gran Prix Raceway each year.  At the school, you are provided with instruction on flags, safety, passing, and track awareness and observed by a TT instructor/mentor assigned to you.  You will be driving on track with fully licensed TT drivers and other students.  If at the end of the weekend, you have performed satisfactorily, a full TT permit application can be signed off for you.  The question to be answered by each instructor/mentor is this: “Do I want to be on the track at speed alongside this driver?”  I can truthfully say that not everyone passes the TT School – it is not automatic.

6. FULL TT PERMIT:  Applying for the full TT license is rather simple.  The permit application form is the same either for a Novice or Full TT permit.  If you have gone thru the Step 4 or Step 5 process, the form will be signed in the middle “Upgrades” section by an authorized individual and can be used for the full TT permit application.  For the full TT permit, you will have to go thru the complete medical forms consisting of your self evaluation and a doctor’s evaluation.  The cost of the full license application is $35.  If you have already applied for a TT Novice permit and apply for the full License within 90 days of the Novice permit application, then there is no additional charge.

7. NOTE: You do need to have a State driver’s license.  If you are under 18, then the usual Minor Waiver signed by your parents has to be provided as well.  This is true for either the Novice or full TT permit.

SPECIAL NOTE:  Anytime you send applications or forms or participation books to SCCA remember to make a copy first.  Reason #1 is in case they get misplaced/lost.  Reason #2 is that while you are waiting for SCCA to send you a new membership card, you can use the copy as proof of your license level.

TT Permit Application Form:  http://scca.cdn.racersites.com/prod/Documents/Club%20Forms/form-tt-ttnovice.pdf

Medical Forms:  http://scca.cdn.racersites.com/prod/assets/Physical.pdf

All of the above presupposes that you have a TT ready car and the necessary personal safety gear.  Have any questions?  Feel free to contact me, Craig Farr, at farrout@knology.net

Article by Craig Farr – SCCA SEDIV TT Committee Member and TTAC Representative