BLOOMINGDALE, Ga. (April 10, 2013) - Roads lined with blooming azaleas welcomed hundreds of drivers, family members and friends to the Formula Vee 50th Festival at Savannah’s Roebling Road Raceway for a celebration weekend that included both current Sports Car Club of America racers and vintage machines.
Despite pouring rain and winter-like conditions at Friday’s Hoosier Test Day, the excitement at this gathering was unparalleled. With a pace car from Volkswagen of America, the original Nardi on display and 26 other sponsors, the stage was set for a superb program.
The once quiet paddock at Roebling was filled with the rumbling engines of 112 Formula Vees entered in the celebration. Held every five years, the event draws drivers from all over the United States, Canada and even overseas – with SCCA National Champions Brad Stout, Roger Siebenhaler, Stevan Davis, Steve Oseth, Rick Shields, Ray Caldwell, Jim Brookshire, George Fizell, Dave Weitzenhof, and Rollin Butler in attendance. Everyone was looking forward to a competitive race and much camaraderie – seeing old friends and making new ones. VIP’s R. David Jones, Bob Lybarger, Jan Brundage, Don Pereboom, Frank Schultheis, current Board Chair of SCCA Lisa Noble, and SCCA President Jeff Dahnert joined the celebration.
“I haven’t seen some of these people in 30 years,” remarked Andy Schupack, Porsche Motorsports PR and author of Formula Vee/Super Vee Racing, History and Chassis/Engine Prep, who came to sign reprints of his original classic, published in 1980.
Saturday’s intense qualifying sessions and feverish car repairs were just par for the course. In the run to the Brundage Cup, the premier trophy for the weekend, the SCCA-class cars were split into two groups, with 20 cars coming out of each. An additional driver was selected by a committee, including Dahnert and Noble, as a hard luck entry – bringing the total cars in the 10-lap dash to the Cup to 42.
Sunday greeted drivers with abundant sunshine – a picture-perfect day for the Brundage Cup. The race did not disappoint – Roger Siebenhaler, Jeremy Grenier, Stevan Davis and Brad Stout leading the pack, with Stout eking out a second Brundage Cup win after taking 3 years off from racing.
“To win the 50th anniversary race feels absolutely fantastic and an honor,” Stout said. “It was a challenging field, great drivers, and beyond expectations to come out on top. The organizers, workers and volunteers who made this event possible deserve our thanks and appreciation – it was wonderful to be here.”
Banquet headliner and former Indy Car driver, Steve Knapp was there to remind the Formula Vee community why drivers do what they do – fanatically pursuing those perfect moments on the track. Even after sustaining life-threatening injuries, Knapp described the triumph of “threading the needle” at Indianapolis. He entertained the crowd with humorous stories from his early racing days.
Event principals Fred Clark and Nancy Deloatch, from the Buccaneer Region, were similarly pleased with the festival.
“I was very energized by the entire weekend,” Clark said. “Everyone had a wonderful time and we continue to receive positive feedback from people. We were glad to have had people from VDCA, CVAR, VSDCA, VARA, VRG, Canada and other distant places.”
Formula Vee has, for 50 years, been able to manage that important balance between community and competition. This was repeated in many corners – from the paddock to the banquet and the grid.
“It isn’t just the cars but the people who drive them, that makes Formula Vee what it is,” said Chris Quinteros, a young driver from Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., who at 21, is less than half the age of the class.
To learn more about 50th Formula Vee Festival and the Brundage Cup, visit www.formulaveeracing.org/FV50th. More information on the Sports Car Club of America and the Club Racing programs are available at www.scca.com. Follow SCCA on Twitter @SCCAOfficial, or like the Club of Facebook at www.facebook.com/SCCAOfficial.