At 70 years old, Mark Weber has been knocking around the motorsports world for some time. When he was just 19 years of age – adorned with billowing brown hair – the now SCCA® Hall of Famer made an inaugural visit in 1972 to the Chicago Region® June Sprints® at Road America. He was there to crew for a driver, and take some photographs, too.
“I had heard the June Sprints was a great Club race and the biggest National race of the season,” Mark recalled about what drew him to that first event. “At that time, the June Sprints was probably bigger than the Runoffs.”
Since then, Mark has made it a point to attend every June Sprints possible. He hasn’t been to all of them over the last 50 years, but he’s only missed a handful. In that time, he has made some victory podium appearances and shot countless photos trackside along the way. For years of involvement at the June Sprints, and boundless enthusiasm for the event, Mark Weber was chosen as the 2023 June Sprints Grand Marshal.
As part of his official duties, Mark will help hand out awards throughout the weekend in victory circle, and is likely to make an appearance on the starter’s stand. He will also regale an audience with tales Saturday evening during the annual dinner gathering.
A member of SCCA’s St. Louis Region, Mark attended his racing drivers’ school in 1974, and has competed continuously since then. He became a fixture in E, F, G, and H Production races; and has entered more than 600 Regional, Divisional, and National SCCA events so far in his career. He has also served as an invaluable photographer for SCCA amateur and pro events alike, chronicling the Club’s activities and history for half a century. In 2022, he was inducted into SCCA’s Hall of Fame.
One of Mark’s most memorable June Sprints occurred in 1995 when he won the F Production race. Victory circle celebrations had to wait, however, because Mark was also taking pictures of the event for SportsCar magazine. He left his winning car in impound, grabbed a camera, and headed to Turn 3 where he snapped a shot that ended up on the magazine’s front cover.
“Winning the June Sprints in 1995, that’s the biggest race I have ever won,” Mark said. “It still means something today to win the June Sprints … and the June Sprints is racing at its best.
“I have loads of great memories from the June Sprints,” Weber continued. “I’ve also had loads of brats. My personal record is seven brats in one day.”
Road America and the June Sprints are magical, according to Weber. Those who can’t be at this year’s 68th running of the WeatherTech Chicago Region June Sprints can still experience the excitement and tradition from afar June 23-25, 2023, thanks to the free, online Hoosier Super Tour video and audio broadcast. Familiar voices of motorsport commentators Brian Bielanski and Gregg Ginsberg will provide play-by-play commentary, and DriversEye Live will supply video from up to 12 cameras – plus in-car feeds where possible.
Coverage of the June Sprints – which is the final Hoosier Racing Tire SCCA Super Tour of the season – will be streamed live via the SCCA Official YouTube channel and SCCA Inc. Facebook page. Post-race video interviews with some Saturday winners, as well as Sunday victory podium celebrations with Mark Weber, can be viewed at the SCCA Road Racing Facebook page. Live Timing and Scoring can be monitored throughout the weekend at www.scca.com/live.
Photo: Mark Weber, the 2023 WeatherTech Chicago Region June Sprints Grand Marshal, stands atop the victory podium holding his winning trophy from 1995.
Photo by Rick Corwine