RE Update by Peter Schneider

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Joe DeLuca and Linda Gronlund Freedom Majors

Racing in the Rain

RE Update by Peter Schneider

 

Over the Memorial Day Weekend the Region and SCCA returned to Pocono after a four year absence, to mark the 20th anniversary of the passing of Joe DeLuca and Linda Gronlund on September 11, 2001

 

The event was truly a group effort bringing resources together from Northern and South New Jersey and 9 other Regions to volunteer and staff the Race under very trying conditions. 120 entries in 21 classes turned out for the weekend from 18 Regions, two from as ‘far away’ as Las Vegas and Central Carolinas. Large contingents came from New England, Washington DC and Philadelphia Regions to test their skills against Pocono’s famous ‘Tricky Triangle’.

The Weekend was really five events in one. A Test Day and Track Night in America on Friday. Race 1 of the Majors and a joint Solo hosted by NNJR/NEPA on the ‘Infield’ Course on Saturday, followed by Race 2 of the Majors on Sunday and Track Sprint hosted by NNJR/NEPA.

 

As you can image the challenge for both the drivers and the volunteers was the weather, at the 2021 Pocono event, it was a very rainy and cold (temperatures were in the mid-40s), totally unexpected for the end of May. While the drivers faced the weather and wet track with standing water during a twenty minute race on Saturday and a 50 minute race on Sunday, the volunteers working the Flag Stations, Grid, Start and Pit were exposed to the elements for over seven hours each day.

SCCA’s events are put on by the members for the members. Unlike hosting a Rally using GPS Smartphone Checkpoint Timing (see the write-up about the 2021 Second Hand Roads) that only requires a handful of volunteers, and Solos/Track Sprints which due to the nature of the event allows for the core event committee and contestants work and compete at the event, putting on the Memorial Day Weekend Majors required over 80 volunteers across nine specialties over the three day weekend, none of which compete in the event. Some Volunteers worked one or two days, while the majority worked all three days. The largest contingencies as you can expect came from Northern and South New Jersey Regions. Even ‘VannaWhite’, the NNJR equipment van which has been on loan to SJR came up for the event.

 

Work on the event started in early March, after it was determined that Pocono would be open for Racing in 2021 with the lifting of Covid-19 restrictions in Pennsylvania. Terry Hanushek (NNJR/SJR) and Dave Hofmann (SJR and a prior NNJR member and Race Chair) agreed to be Race Chairs for the event. The Race Director was Gene Kern (Steel Cities) and Clerk of the Course was Kathy McLeod (Washington DC) who also drove up for a couple of days, weeks prior to the event to recertify the track for SCCA. Chief Steward was NNJR’s own Butch O’Connor. Race results and podium photos are available on the Region’s Website.

 

As you can imagine putting on an event of this size has a large financial risk to the Region, the budget for the Weekend, exceeded the combined budget for all other programs for 2021.Even with the drop in entries at the last minute due to weather, the Region is looking to ‘breakeven’ or a ‘manageable/acceptable’ loss on the event, once all the paperwork is done.

 

We would like to thank everyone that made the event possible, Racers, Crews and Volunteers and the Region Board.