2023-01 – RE Update by Peter Schneider

Well it’s that time of year again when I sit down and try to provide to our region’s membership an update on region activities, and what I have been up to over the last couple of months. For those that read this newsletter on a monthly basis this will be a recap of the last six months of activities and hopefully give you something to think about for the next six months.
Year to date the region has conducted five Solo events, including hosting the New Jersey Pro-Solo and a Corporate Solo event for Marotta Controls which is a subsidiary of SpaceX. 547 individuals’ attended the events and our Solo program is alive and well.  In this issue you will find the remaining schedule for the program, so plan accordingly. If you have not come out for an event, I hope that you will find time. We have loader helmets, so your cost to attend the event will only be the entry fee and light snacks and something to drink. Registration for all Solo events are on Motorsportreg.com. The daily activities start early, we ask that you arrive by 7:30am, the walking of the course opens at 8:15am and a special First Timer/Novice Course Walk starts at 9:00am.  The Course Walks are designed to help you get familiar with the layout, to improve your performance during the competition. For more detail you can reach out to our Solo Chair Perry Aidelbaum at solo@scca-nnjr.com.

As you know, due to the scheduling of the June 3-5 Watkins Glen Hoosier Super Tour, the NNJR had to cancel the 2022 Joe DeLuca and Linda Gronlund Freedom Majors which was scheduled over the Memorial Day Weekend. With the two events only a couple of days apart, the Board of Trustees did not want to risk a significant financial loss. We are hoping to get our event on the SCCA Road Racing schedule in 2023. While Road Racing event scheduling in the northeast is determined by the NeDiv (Northeast Division) Council which is chaired by NNJR’s own Chris Mosley, there is a delicate balancing act between the individual SCCA regions with Road Racing programs and the available tracks in the Northeast. Since there are many non-SCCA organizations competing for track time, including several professional series, weekend track dates are difficult to obtain or reschedule. Our planning is underway.
NeDiv Road Racing scheduling process will begin shortly for the 2023 season. So if you want to get involved as a worker or driver, start planning now. You can reach out to Terry Hanushek and Dave Hofmann at race@scca-nnjr.com.

The Region’s rally program is well known at the national level, as you may know over the last two and a half years NNJR’s program has been the most active program in SCCA. This is mainly due to our partnership with the New Jersey Highland Coalition and our twice a year Social/Trek style of events which normally attract over 80 teams. We explore North Jersey using written route instructions which highlight the many natural and little known industrial wonders of the state. Treks are non-competitive drives and just a fun way to see the lesser known back roads of our region. Our next Road Rally event is this month on July 24, additional details can be found in this newsletter. Once again, the Region will be hosting the New Jersey Monte, created by NNJR’s member Dave Panus back in the early ‘60s. This event is a National/Regional Course Rally utilizing the ‘NJ Esso/Exxon’ Map on October 9th. All you have to do is follow the route on the map and stay on time. How hard can that be? There will be 30 scored Checkpoints along the route to note your ability to stay on-time and on-course. In addition the same weekend, we will be hosting a National/Regional Tour Rally (easy to follow Time-Speed-Distance event) on October 8th. Road of Home was last presented by NNJR as a National Tour rally in 1990 and will have mileage and official time to each instruction for the entire 170 mile route. The rally will have approximately 100 timed checkpoints. Keeping with NNJR’s tradition as the rally progresses, staying on-time will become more difficult. The event is divided into four sections. Section A will have mileage and official time to each checkpoint. Section B will have mileage to each checkpoint but not the official time. Section C will still list the checkpoints in the route instructions, but will not provide mileage or official time to each location, and Section D we will not list them in the route instructions, so you have to stay ‘on time all the time’ to get a perfect score. Both rallies will be scored to the 1/10 of a second using the Richta GPS Timing System and have awards for the standard National Class structure, and for those competing in the Regional version of these rallies, we will have a discounted entry fee, and special awards for Novice and Beginners to the sport. As with all NNJR Rallies, all female teams where at least one member is an SCCA member will get a free entry. These two events are known as the New Jersey National RoadRally Weekend and will feature the Delaware and Musconetcong river valleys which will include extensive elevation changes and some unpaved roads not normally associated with New Jersey events. Staying on-time will be interesting. In 2021 we co-hosted the event with South Jersey SCCA, but in 2022 we are taking on the challenge alone.
We will also be hosting a fall social/trek with the New Jersey Highland Coalition in late October and the 32nd Annual Teddy Bear rally to benefit the United States Marine Corp Toys for Tots program on December 4th. The Teddy Bear Rally is the longest/oldest running Charity event in SCCA. For information on our rally program you can contact Peter Schneider at rally@scca-nnjr.com.

On a personal note, the last six months have been very busy. While I did step down from being a member of the National RoadRally Board, Chair of the National RoadRally Regional Development Committee, and Rally Board Liaison to Rally National Events Committee, I did step up to a position on SCCA’s National Board of Directors for a three year term as the Director for Area 1. Working with the Board of Directors is taking a little adjustment. In addition to monthly Board meeting, I also serve on the Compensation,Audit & Investment sub-committee, Governance sub-committee; which is currently reviewing the SCCA National Operations Manual, Training sub-committee; which is expanding the Learning Management System training piloted by the RoadRally program in 2020 to include Solo, Rally Cross and Flagging and Communication specialties.  I also attend the RE & Operations and the SCCA Foundation monthly meetings as a Liaison for the Board of Directors. In my spare time, I attend the New England Region Board and Chair the NNJR Board of Trustee monthly meetings and a newly formed monthly NeDiv Board of Director communication call with Area 10 (Chuck Dobbs) and Area 2 (Jack Burrows) to keep in touch on activities that impact our Division. So I went from about 5 hours of meetings to over 15 hours of zoom calls per month. I am still an active member of the Northern New Jersey Porsche Club of America which conduct five gimmick rallies a year and the annual Pine Barren ‘Off-Road’ Excursion, which in 2019 (pre-Covid) was the largest ‘off-road’ event hosted by the Porsche Club of North America.

In addition to going to the local race, I took time out of my SCCA and Porsche administration activities to compete in three events, a Divisional TSD rally hosted by South Jersey Region, a Divisional GTA/Gimmick rally hosted by Philadelphia Region SCCA and the Porsche National Parade (National Convention) at Kalahari Resort in the Poconos to compete on their National TSD Road Rally Championship in my Porsche 968 cabriolet. My wife and I volunteered for their National GTA/Gimmick rally. I teamed up with three different individuals for these rallies and was lucky enough to win 1st in class in all three events and 1st overall in two. Along with my driver Jessica Toney we were named the Porsche Club National TSD Rally Champion for 2022. Since the Porsche Club requires members to compete in a Porsche on their National TSD Rally, I have only been to two Porsche National Parades (2016 and 2022) and won the National TSD Championship two out of two times. In 2016 my driver was Sue Smith from NNJR-PCA and in 2022 it was Jessica from the Golden Gate PCA Region. Jessica is also an SCCA member and a SCCA National Rally Champion.

Looking ahead to the rest of the summer, in addition to putting the final touches on our region’s two National RoadRallies, I am getting ready for my 12th trip up the Alcan Highway on the Alcan5000, which is a 5,000 mile road rally in northwest Canada and Alaska. This year I am once again navigating for Dave Cole the owner operator of the King of the Hammers off-road race in Johnson Valley California. Wish us luck, hopefully we will not be eaten by a Grizzly or hit by a moose.