The Observers Stand / February 28, 2020

The Observers Stand 2


The Observers Stand

Socializer Update:
Annual Tech
Saturday April 4 10:00am-2:00pm
Alliance Autosport
4991 Transamerica Dr
Columbus OH
Editors Note:

By: David Brown

Welcome to the second issue of The Observers Stand Newsletter
While it is the offseason for most of our competition programs we do still have plenty of information to inform our members. You’ll notice above the Annual Tech Socializer is scheduled and in the case of the March Social at Buckeye Raceway being a late addition I’ll send out an email blast. Down below you’ll see write-ups of the Awards Banquet and the National Convention as well as some updates on members Pro Racing endeavors  I would love to publish more member sourced information and thats where you come in. SEND ME CONTENT! I’m not planning on creating much content but I will publish it. Email me at or reply to the issue. Either way it will get to me.
Please do me the favor of asking your fellow members if they have received this and other emails. We have many members whose emails bounce or those that have not listed emails with the national office. We use the SCCA national office database to send this out. If they don’t have an email listed then we don’t have it and these newsletters won’t be seen. Help us keep our members informed.

Awards Banquet Recap

By Jude Summers/David Brown

BOD Awards were presented to Barb Turner, for the countless hours she worked for tech, and other race and club admin activities; and Matt Downing, current Elections Officer, Track Event (PDX) co- chair, previous Race Chair and ongoing club admin work.

The Fergus Award, was presented to Doug Rigel for his continued safety achievements working race control at Mid Ohio.  

Worker of the year 2019, was awarded to George Carpenter, for his dedication and leadership for pit marshal to all of of OVRs club and pro events in 2019.

New Worker of the year, was presented to Jennifer Dietz for her dedication, hospitality, and support at registration during 2019.

Stewart award was presented to Peggy Dietz for not just Chairing the Registration efforts for all of our events, but her admin efforts with developing the racing programs for OVR.

Doug Gall received The Service to Racing Award for over 35 continuing years of dedication and work with all OVR events at Mid Ohio.

The following received STARZ Awards for their outstanding work during the entire season at Mid Ohio.

Kevin Young LEC
Bill Stevens Pace Car
Dave Malcosky Tech
Sheila Barschow Race Admin
Lori Clark Driver Information
Donna Tonkin Race Admin

Regional Executive Awards were presented to:
Frank Todaro
Orion Fairman
John England
Rich Grunenwald

Racing Awards were presented to:Driver of the Year: Kevin Boehm

National Driver of the Year: Kevin Ruck

Regional Driver of the Year: Matt Downing

Pro Driver of the Year: Corey Fergus

Ted Vedrinski Most Improved Driver: Brad Kitchen 

Champions Award: Scott Hileman


See our website for up to date info on all our events. Registration for all events can be found on
Do you want to be more involved in the club? Do you have any suggestions for us? Please email us at
Do you have thoughts on our Awards Banquet? Email us at or let us know on Facebook!

Awards Banquet Report

By Suzy Hardesty

The Annual OVR Banquet in January saw lovely weather for a change. Held between the monthly Board meeting and the annual convention on a lovely Saturday evening as LaScala in Columbus, we had over 100 members present to celebrate another successful year. In addition to our yearly awards, delicious food, and hours of bench racing, the banquet had a few surprises.

Pictured here is a special award created for Dan Hodge by several grateful Spec Miata drivers. The “5 minute” award came about after a miscommunication last summer at OVR’s Majors weekend at Mid-Ohio. A group of front-runners were not on grid yet by the 5-minute warning so Dan Hodge, as Steward, put a hold on the race, hopped in the golf cart, and sped up to the upper paddock. As soon as he was in shouting distance of the group, he held up the 5-minute hand and encouraged them to get a move on to grid.

This probably shouldn’t have come as a surprise, but the Rally Cross contingent couldn’t leave a perfectly working flashlight alone. Perhaps they were testing it’s ability to survive a jolt? Perhaps they wanted to make some performance modifications? It looks like this flashlight will have to go home in parts instead.

2020 National Convention Reports

Convention 2020 Report

By David Brown

Coming right on the heels of the awards banquet several of us traveled to Las Vegas for the 2020 SCCA National Convention. This year OVR sent several first timers and part of the fun is getting to see how overwhelmed they tend to be. This years crop handled it easily! I flew out via JFK airport in NY and while I saved the club some coin this made my travel days way too long. I arrived and picked up my rental car– a 2019 Mustang GT which was fun other than the fact that the tires had no grip in the cool temperatures and while it made the right noises it was probably not the best rental for the weather.

Having been to several conventions I focused this time on sessions that would help with making this newsletter better. I found that many regions have ditched printed magazines and are going with digital publications. I also learned that despite not really paying attention in Journalism class back in 1983 I do have the skills to put out a digital format of The Observers Stand. We had great presentations from Hagerty which is a new partner with the SCCA and our own Jack Baruth presented an excellent session early on Leveraging Content Across Digital. As I get more familiar with the tools of our current email publisher (Mailchimp) I hope to be able to present a more polished product. Grassroots Motorsports publisher Tim Suddard had a fantastic presentation on building a magazine and so much was applicable to what I’m trying to do here.

The big not so good news was Pro Racing losing another large chunk of money last year approaching $750,000 and it was disheartening to see the members having to fight to get them to admit that. Other big topics were the meme war on the SCCA Members Facebook page. Times they are a-changing.

Speaking of time I spent a considerable amount of time with the fine folks from Vet Motorsports and our own Pete Cline is CEO. The SCCA Foundation has partnered with them and they are making a difference for our veterans. Please consider a donation or at the very least check out their website and Facebook page.

The Convention wrapped up with the Hall of Fame Banquet and induction ceremonies. It was a great time and it was about that time I started feeling a little under the weather. The flu bug bit me hard not too long after that and it was a VERY big challenge to make my 6:00am flight back thru JFK… By that time I was quite sick and traveling was not what I wanted to do. Fortunately I slept all the way back to NY and then from NY to Columbus. Should I ever go back to a convention I hope to not deal with that again. I now have a new regime of lots (more) Purell and Clorox wipes for every doorknob and light switch and every possible spot on a plane to not have to deal with that ever again. Many thanks to the BOD for the opportunity to represent OVR at the Convention!

By Dan Michael

The 2020 SCCA Convention was a great experience that will be helpful in my first year as Solo Chair.  From the sessions to the socializers, I had a blast and learned a lot.  My favorite session was definitely Jack Baruth’s session about how social media is a necessary tool in which each region should be utilizing.  It showed me how our region should really look into getting a social presence on not only Facebook but also Instagram and Twitter.  We can use these outlets to bring in more people and grow our memberships.


The socializers were a lot of fun and gave me a chance to get to know other regions.  The Kansas City region told me about how they have switched all of their registration over to computer based and did away with paper forms for walk ups.  This was great to hear since we are looking into doing the same thing and hearing how a region successfully accomplished that made me very optimistic about our work.  I also got the chance to meet with Motorsport Reg and Proton timing which will help us as we are transitioning out timing software over from Axeware.


The convention was truly an excellent time and I want to thank the Ohio Valley Region for allowing me to attend.  It was great meeting people from all over and learning things to help with my first season as chair.

By Suzy Hardesty

Thank you to OVR members for letting me be one of your representatives at the SCCA Annual Convention. I learned many things as a first-year attendee and as your new RE. I was able to compare our region to others in the club. I learned about marketing and Road Rally.  Be sure to look for changes relating to those areas in the coming years. Finally, I gained many networking connections to help us in all areas of our region and it’s continued development.

There are times when I can be nostalgic about the SCCA because I’ve been a member since 1987. I have seen a lot of changes in the club over the years. Being at the convention showed me that our club will continue to evolve. I learned that in several areas, OVR is ahead of other regions in how we are adapting to the latest changes. I also learned some great strategies to help us evolve moving forward. I felt a renewed sense of patience that changes will invariably happen over time and that the core value of SCCA – a family of car enthusiasts – will remain.

I left the Convention more enthusiastic than ever to do my part as your RE to help shepherd OVR.

One thing that I want to take the opportunity to mention is how inspired I was by the enthusiasm shown by our youngest delegate to the convention. Dan Michael attended representing the Autocross side of our region. By the end of the final awards dinner, he was just as excited as the first early morning breakfast. Here is a photo from the closing banquet to prove it.

2020 SCCA Convention

By Alan Garside

This was a different year for me as I was a presenter for Road Race Tech.  The setup of the convention does not change much for the most part but this year they added a lot more meetings on Thursday and an Autocross day on Sunday. My presentation went well. We had a lot of input from the other Scrutineers in the group. There were a few new scrutineers in the group that got together with me after to ask questions. Also had some nice feedback on the new Annual inspection form that has been redesigned by a few of scrutineers with the help of Rick Harris, the Road Race Technical Manager for the SCCA.

Saturday morning started early with a 7:00 am meeting with MSR to go over some issues we had with our races last year. This was a very good meeting as we went over the new set up that is going to be released this year.  The way we can set up the registration form that is on MSR to make it easier for everyone. They were able to find and fix the problem that was causing an issue with our set up in MSR. We have them looking into sending someone from MSR to our spring training in Fort Wayne on March 7, 2020.  A couple of the other presentations that had a lot of good information were How the FIA Governs and Officiates, SEDIV Endurance Series, Car Racing A Family Journey or Professional Career, On-Board Fire/Cooling Systems, New Frontal Head Restraint Devices, and Road Racing Town Hall.

I would like to thank Ohio Valley Region for sending me to the convention this year. I got a lot of useful information out of the convention that I can use for setup and during our events. Anyone that is going to the spring training in Fort Wayne, I will be doing the same presentation there as I did at the convention. It would be great to have some new faces and outlook in the discussion that goes with the presentation. Thank you again for your support of sending me to the convention this year.

By John England

The convention this year was very busy for me. I arrived a day early to do National RallyCross meeting. We had about 13 hours of meetings before the convention started. We were busy going over rules to working on new rules for a new class of side by side UTV’s that should be introduced in the near future. We also chose the club’s and Venues for the RallyCross National Tours for this season. OVR was a backup for the Atlanta Event in the case that they could not get everything together. And it so happened that the National Tour is coming back to Ohio after some scheduling issues. So June 26-28 the Great Lakes National Tour will be at Ross County Fair Grounds in Chillicothe.

More Convention Reports will appear in the next issue of The Observers Stand
OVR Drivers Finding New Rides
CrowdStrike Racing Adds Second Entry for 2020 TC America

SUNNYVALE, Calif. (February 27, 2020) – CrowdStrike Racing is further broadening its motorsports plans for 2020 with the addition of a full-season TC America entry for accomplished road-racer and engineer Kevin Boehm.


Boehm will drive the No. 9 CrowdStrike Honda Civic Si for the full season in the series’ TCA category, which is for touring cars that largely retain many of their production elements with race suspension, brakes, exhaust, and safety equipment added. The Honda Civic Si race car, built by Honda Performance Development, features a six-speed manual transmission, power steering, and a 1.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine.


“I am beyond excited to join CrowdStrike Racing for my debut season in TC America,” Boehm said. “On the race track, every second counts, but the work starts long before I get behind the wheel. As an engineer, it’s truly inspiring to see the team prioritize the same things that I do — diligence, thoroughness, technology, and data. I look forward to joining the CrowdStrike Racing family and hope to quickly add to their history of success.”


Boehm’s entry will be the third for CrowdStrike Racing in the 2020 SRO America organization, alongside a Mercedes-AMG GT3 for George Kurtz and Colin Braun in GT World Challenge America Powered by AWS and a Honda Civic Type R TCR for CJ Moses. CrowdStrike Racing technical partner DXDT Racing will assist with logistics and support of the turn-key Honda Civic Si race car.


All three establish CrowdStrike as a leading participant — both competitively and commercially — in SRO America. Earlier this month, CrowdStrike announced that it will return as Official Internet & Cloud Security Provider for GT World Challenge and is a leading sponsor of the series.


“We are happy to welcome Kevin for the 2020 season,” said CrowdStrike Racing’s George Kurtz. “He is a great addition to the CrowdStrike Racing program. It’s always great to bring new minds and leaders in thought into our program, and that is what Kevin brings. His experience as someone who has come up through the ranks of racing on his own along with engineering insight will prove beneficial as we bolster our programs in SRO America.”


“Kevin joins the CrowdStrike Racing TC program to bolster our race engineering on these amazing new Honda vehicles,” said Moses. “His years of self-driven, independent experience will enhance the team’s drive to continuously improve the cars — and win with them!”


Boehm is a four-time Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) national champion with experience in a variety of series and at a variety of racetracks. He also works as a Senior Engineer and test driver at Honda Research and Development, which handles research design and product development for a wide array of Honda vehicles.


Among Boehm’s more recent projects include building the world’s first K20C1-swapped 10th-generation Civic Coupe. He also posted a third-place class finish at December’s 25 Hours of Thunderhill.


Follow CrowdStrike Racing on social media by searching #crowdstrikeracing, and catch up on our season’s news and releases at Follow Kevin Boehm’s racing adventures at

Register for our Events
McLaren Factory driver Holton will be joined by seasoned sportscar pilot Fergus in McLaren 720S GT3

VISTA, CA — Compass Racing will head into its seventeenth consecutive season in IMSA competition – and its fourth with manufacturer partner McLaren – when the first round of WeatherTech’s Sprint Cup eight-race season begins at Long Beach, CA on April 17th-19th.
Long-time team driver and McLaren Factory pro Paul Holton, who brought the team a number of dramatic wins at the helm of a McLaren 570S GT4 – including Long Beach in 2018 and Daytona in 2019 – returns to the squad with new co-driver Corey Fergus. Fergus himself is no stranger to the brand, having competed in a McLaren in the Michelin Pilot Challenge for the past two years, finishing second in the championship last season.

“We are truly excited to have Paul and Corey drive together in the Sprint Cup this season,” enthused Team Owner Jill Beck. “All of the pieces we’d hoped have come together, and we head into our second year with the McLaren 720S GT3 in a very strong position. The No. 76 car will once again feature primary sponsorship from our partner Richard Mille, with great support from US LED, AERO Paint, the Torque Show and our friends at McLaren Automotive.”

The team comes off a strong end to the 2019 Sprint Cup season, which saw steady improvements in the 720S GT3 around the globe. As the only team in North America to compete with the platform, Compass Racing has proudly flown the flag for McLaren in IMSA to position the car for success.

“IMSA’s GTD championship is perhaps the most competitive in the world, and last season we ‘earned the right’ to be competitive by contesting the full Sprint Cup,” remarked Holton. “For 2020, we expect to be in a position to fight for wins, podiums and the championship.”

Fergus is equally effusive. “I’ve raced against Compass for the past few seasons, and I could not be happier to join them. They are truly fierce competitors who are focussed on one goal: to bring McLaren the IMSA Sprint Cup championship.”

Compass Racing is also proud to continue the team’s relationship with The Race Day Foundation, who bring children and families dealing with life-changing illnesses to the race track for a day away from their regular routine. Many other IMSA teams support the charity, which will have an expanded presence in sportscar paddocks this year.

The team is busy preparing for testing at Sebring at Road Atlanta in March, which will include direct technical support from the manufacturer. “We’ll have Rob Boakes from McLaren, who was with us for the entire year in 2019, along with a number of other top engineers from England, working with us to refine what is an already very good package,” noted Beck.

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