TOPEKA, Kan. (January 12, 2012) – Five esteemed Sports Car Club of America members have been selected to comprise the 2012 class of the SCCA Hall of Fame based on their significant contributions to motorsports and the organization. The newly-selected inductees will officially join the Hall during an induction ceremony at the SCCA Convention, Saturday, March 3, at the South Point Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.
The SCCA National Hall of Fame was created in 2004 to preserve, protect and record the history and accomplishments of the Club by acknowledging those members who have made a significant impact on the development of SCCA, be it through service to the national organization, achievements in national competition or bringing national recognition to SCCA. Nominations were submitted to and reviewed by the Hall of Fame Nomination and Selection Committees. The 2012 class consists of Charlie Earwood, Jim Hall, Gene Henderson, Dr. Peter Talbot and Bryan Webb.
Charlie Earwood, an SCCA member since 1960, started racing Porsches in E and F Production before turning his attention to where he made his name in the sport – officiating. A respected Chief Steward for many years, including the Runoffs at Road Atlanta, Earwood also served the SCCA as an official at the 12 Hours of Sebring, 24 Hours of Daytona, the Trans-Am Series, Playboy Endurance Series, Spec Racer Ford, and many more, as well as other sanctioning bodies. Earwood is also a former General Manager at Sebring International Raceway, where he was tasked with designing the current course allowing the track and the general aviation airport to run simultaneously, opening Sebring for year-round events.
Jim Hall is best known as a leading innovator in race car design and generally credited for being the first to use aerodynamics and ground effects to an advantage on race cars. Hall was also a founding and charter member of the West Texas Region SCCA in the 1950s. After founding Chaparral Cars, he also built Rattlesnake Raceway for testing purposes, and made the track available to the region for SCCA races. Hall was a driver in Formula One, Can-Am, Trans-Am and more during his driving days, and won the Indianapolis 500 as a team owner in 1978 and 1980. Hall, the 1965 President’s Cup winner, is still available to the region for support and recruitment.
Gene Henderson is best known by those in the rally community, having successful careers in both the former SCCA ProRally and the current Road Rally. Henderson began as a road racer, participating in rally events during the winter months. He won the 1963 Press On Regardless Pro Rally, the 1968 TransCanada Rally, and the 1972 FIA World Championship Press On Regardless Rally in a Jeep Wagoneer, the first American Car to win an FIA event. Gene later helped organize the Press On Regardless Road Rally, and was inducted into the Michigan Motorsports Hall of Fame in 1989. Henderson passed away in April, 2005 at the age of 79.
Dr. Peter Talbot was active for many years as an SCCA Club Racer, but his real contribution to the sport came as the inventor and innovator of the tire wall safety system. An SCCA member from 1955 through 1994, Talbot’s tire wall safety system was first used at Laguna Seca in the late 60s and early 70s to make up for a lack of runoff as a replacement for the required CSI (a forerunner to the modern FIA) catch fencing. Successful there, the Long Beach Grand Prix used the tire wall system from the inaugural running of the race in 1975. The current tire wall systems are virtually unchanged from Dr. Talbot’s original design. A recipient of the 1974 SCCA Val Scroggie award, presented to an SCCA race physician who has made the greatest contribution to racing during the preceding year, and the 1985 George Snively Award for outstanding contributions to safety in motorsports, Dr. Talbot passed away in 1999.
Bryan Webb served as an SCCA member for over 30 years in multiple capacities, leading the Southeast Division as an elected member of the SCCA Board of Directors, serving as Regional Executive in the Florida Region on two different occasions, and participating as a Steward and Club Racing driver. As National Administrator of the Stewards Program, Webb was largely responsible for the content of the current Stewards Manual. Webb has previously been given the 1988 Woolf Barnato Award, presented to the member who has made the most outstanding long-term contribution, and the 1991 Dave Morrell Award for the Chief Steward who has exhibited outstanding performance and dedication to the sport and the highest principles. The Southeast Division annual awards the Bryan Webb Award to the Southeast Division Steward who has consistently shown the standards of service, dedication and fairness as exemplified by Bryan during his many years as an active SCCA member. Webb passed away in 2004.
The five inductees will join the seven previous classes, including:
2005: Cameron Argetsinger, A. Tracy Bird, John Fitch, Arthur Gervais, Harry Handley, Vern Jaques, Bill Milliken, Sue Roethel, Art Trier and Rob Walker.
2006: John Bornholdt, John Buffum, Mark Donohue, Denise McCluggage and Grant Reynolds.
2007: Marge Binks, Marc Gerstein, Carl A. Haas, General Curtis E. LeMay, and Theodore F. Robertson.
2008: Roger E. Johnson, Don and Ruth Nixon, Kjell Qvale, Robert Ridges and Fred Schmucker.
2009: Bill Chambres, Bill Johnson, Jim Kimberly, Paul Newman and John Timanus
2010: Nick Craw, Briggs Cunningham, R. David Jones, Burdette “Berdie” Martin and Wayne Zitkus
2011: Karen Babb, John Bishop, Jim Fitzgerald, Tracer Racing, Harro Zitza