Fred G. Wacker Jr.
Fred G. Wacker Jr., was instrumental in solidifying the Sports Car Club of America® as the racing organization that we know today.
An early member of the SCCA, Wacker was co-founder of SCCA’s Chicago Region and served as Regional Executive for three terms from 1948 through 1950. As we know now, that was a transformative period in road racing as the sport moved away from high-risk street races and into permanent road courses. Fred was involved in one such incident on the streets of Watkins Glen, an accident that prompted him to place more emphasis on safety and permanent facilities.
Along with fellow SCCA Hall of Famer Jim Kimberly, Wacker helped develop the Elkhart Lake street races and eventually the land that would become Road America. He also was instrumental in meeting with another SCCA Hall of Famer, General Curtis LeMay, to convince the General to allow SCCA to use air bases for racing activities. The air base races served their purpose, establishing road racing while a host of permanent racing venues were built.
Wacker served as the National SCCA President in 1952 and 1953, but he had plenty of success on the track as well. In addition to his SCCA driver duties, Wacker made three Formula One starts as a driver. He drove for Briggs Cunningham and Phil Hill in two starts at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, and finished second in his class at Sebring in the inaugural race, before it was 12 hours long.
Chicago Region’s Driver of the Year award is still named for Fred Wacker, who passed away in 1998, just weeks shy of his 80th birthday.
Fred G. Wacker Jr. was inducted into the SCCA Hall of Fame in 2024.