Tech This Out!

Whether they’re located in a tent, shed or garage, “Tech” workers are a dedicated group of volunteers that play a very, very important role over the course of SCCA race weekends.

Matt Wojtkowiak, a member of the South Jersey Region who is Tech Chief at this weekend’s SCCA U.S. Majors Tour at New Jersey Motorsports Park, has been a member of the SCCA for nearly 20 years and working Tech the last seven.  He said Tech is responsible for vehicle rulebook compliance for the various classes, and driver compliance when it comes to personal gear.

“We make sure drivers are compliant for their safety, and that the car is compliant for the class where it’s running,” Wojtkowiak said in summation.  “Some drivers think we’re out to disqualify them or keep them out of the race, but my attitude is to help drivers figure out what they need to do to race.”

As an example, Wojtkowiak -- who has operated an auto repair shop for more than 40 years -- said there have been times when members of his Tech team, called “Men in Black” for the dark clothing they wear head to toe, have gone out into the paddock and helped drivers work on cars so they are compliant and can enjoy their race weekend.

“We’re not looking to find out why you can’t race, we’re looking to find reasons to keep you in the game,” Wojtkowiak said. “Our mantra is that we’re here to assist the drivers.”

Joseph Hall, an SCCA member for more than 20 years from Cal Club, is actually working his first-ever weekend with Tech at New Jersey Motorsports Park.  He has a long history racing cars and has his own reasons for working Tech.

“I’m involved for the safety aspect of the whole thing,” Hall admitted.  “Safety all starts in Tech.  Racing can be dangerous.  But at Tech, we do things to make this a safer sport.  It’s up to the Tech family to make sure the drivers out on track are safe.  Plus, this Tech family here is the coolest."

Part of that Tech family is, literally, family. Karl and Marge Iochum are a married couple who have been part of the SCCA for nearly 30 years, are proud members of the Philadelphia Region, and been working Tech since joining the Club.  But this duo actually fulfills two different roles within the Tech discipline.

“It’s a lot of fun using your thought process to solve problems.  You don’t grow stale and stay active,” Marge said. “Plus there’s friendship, comradery and it’s fun getting to meet people.”

Karl chimed in and added, “She handles the management side of Tech.  I just know cars, basically.  I’m into the engineering part of cars and addressing safety issues since I’ve been a racer.”

And in a racing family, Tech can also be an escape.

“Our son road raced," Marge said.  "Sometimes he and his father would argue about the racecar.  When that happened, I’d just tell those two ‘I’m going to Tech.’”

Follow the racing action Saturday and Sunday from New Jersey Motorsports Park at