Category: Region History
Published on Wednesday, 21 October 2015 14:37
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1973 Part One - The Big Four

Editor's Comment: 1973 was a banner year for Oklahoma Region, easily one of the best years. The Ponca City Grand Prix had recovered from the disaster of 1970 and was arguably the premier racing event in the Midwest and even the Southwest Divisions. Membership was growing with dozens of new members. The Enid Sports Car Club would evolve into the Enid Chapter of Oklahoma Region. Eventually chapters would also be established in Stillwater and Lawton Hank Ellett was the Gazette Editor and he enlisted an unmatched crew of writers and contributors, Ann Williams, Diana O'Brien, Leon MacKechnie, Zebbie Ramsey, Dave Dooley, George England, Steve and Linna Clift.  In fact, the Gazette would be awarded the Best Regional Publication  title by SCCA for 1973. This article is the first of a two part feature on the overall activites of Oklahoma Region that appeared in the February and March Gazette.

on tap new

Now to the really fun time function of the Oklahoma Region; the Socials ! What can be saidsocialpic for the parties, except that they are a blast! I know of no one that does not enjoy a good time, whether he be an alcoholic, social drinker or tea totler, and our get-togethers cater to all.

Each ralIye ends at either a pizza or steak house where drivers and navigators as well as check point crews get together and hash over the "Where did we go wrong?", with a glass of beer in hand.

Most of the Solo IIs (Gymkhanas) end in a beer bust also.

During either event there is absolutely N0 DRINKING, but when they're over, everyone is ready to sit down, relax, have that cold beer and let it all hang out.

Dave Dooley was our party Chairman this past year, and he put on a fabulous family picnic at Springlake Park. The kiddies were given tickets at half price for all the rides, and there was beer a-flowin ! Enough soft drinks to quench the thirst of an Army. The food as catered so all mom had to do was get the little ones ready. The kids had their cholce of toys to play with, plus all day on the rides, and the adults also had their choice of games, plus a beer drinking contest, which Bob Smoak won - "Lush" ! 

Another gay time was had at the Oktoberfest party. All you could eat and drink, before, during, and after the awards were handed out. Then there was the biggie of the year that was mentioned in last month's Gazette, the Anuual Awards Bash (Banquet). What a year!

Pat Morrison is our new party (Social) Chairman for this year and a retired Col. (who knows how to party) is sure to see to it we have as much or more fun than last year. So plan on attending.

perfection 1

Solo IIs, also known as gymkhanas, are the best skill or precision driver's training we know of. The object of the game is to get thru the course of pylons without going off course, and topping everyone in your class in time. Becoming proficient in gymkhanas will enable you to maneuver suificiently in traffic regardless of the situation.

If you've never attended a Solo II you've missed out on life ! Here all the emotions are seen and felt, love, hate, agony, frustration and the joys of your friends , as they "compete" against each other for first place in their cIass. There are 16 classes in all. The Rule Book giving all the info may be obtained free of charge thru the Club.

The solo II breed is a special group all its own. Being a family sport, most anything goessolopic. You'll see babies in playpens, mothers preparing picnic lunches, and the men sweating over an engine whether it be his or that of his competitor.

The females are just as competitive as the men. It's great fun to watch the Iittle lady beat her husband's time of day. There are a few men whose wives are such skilled drivers we have to root for hubby who normally loses.

At the end of the year we are invited to compete against the Wichita Region for the Challenge Cup, which we have won each year. We arrived in Wichita in 1972 with 32 Oklahoma Region people. Most of them brought home a trophy.

Also we are invited to the Mid-Div Solo II Run-offs which are held in Des Moines, Iowa this year. At Topeka, Kansas in 1972, we had more entries and awards than any other Region, thus bringing to Oklahoma Region the best over-aII trophy. The award was given for the strongest participation and the most wins. This was due to the willingness of our drivers to compete in far distance travel. Quite an honor !

This past year we had 7 Solo II points events with approximately 700 cars entered. We're hoping this year will be as eventful, with 7 points events, covering Stillwater, Enid, Oklahoma City and Shawnee. Check the "Down the Road" within each issue for dates and times, and plan to enter.

We cannot guarantee a trophy your first try, but we can and will guarantee a fun time !

on course 1

Racing is, and as far as I can say will always be, a part of my life. Only those people who have been in other types of racing as my husband and l have been, can really appreciate the sincerity, cooperation and concern of sports car people. They have an objective in mind, and work together to achieve that goal.

Racing is fun. Not all fun, people! It really is work to get it to be fun. I saw a corner crew give their all at the Lake Garnett Race last year. The whole track crew-was reaIly working on that one to keep the race underway. If you have never "worked" a race, I suggest you try. After all, none of us are pros, and anyone can learn. There are so many different things to do and be done. Yes, it's work, but when it's over you will surely be able to say, "I loved every minute of it ! "

The only thing that could possibly be more fun and interesting is being in one of thoseracingpic thundering cars going around a track at better than the speed limit on any highway, all the time side by side with your competitors only inches away, knowing you are both there intending to win. If you make a mistake they are flat going to drive off, and possibly win. Maybe they will make the mistake. These racers know that if they bump you, purposely hold you back or run you off the track, they are going to be severefy reprimanded. This is not the case in other types of racing. I am proud to say this very seldom happens to our drivers around here. It's reaIly unbelievable, and yet so very, very rewarding to see people who love racing join together to get that ultimate goal first, the checkered flag !

Finally, let me say I really love the Sports Car CIub of America.

DIANA

checkpoint o new

To ralIye you need a navigator that knows his math, and a driver who understands what he reads. Find this combination and you have a winning team, not necessarily your first try, but with persistence you will win. "Never say die" is the secret here.

Basically, Oklahoma Region rallyes are time, speed and distance (TSD) ralLyes formed 'to a set of rules' based on and similar to National SCCA standards but printed and revised by Oklahoma Region. These will be made available by the CIub in the immediate future.

The T.S.D. Rallyes are set up into 3 groups:

A Mechanical - Computer

B Non-Mechanical - Stop watch

C Seat of Pants - Watch - Pen & paper only

At the onset of each raIIye, driver and navigator are given a set of instructions which directs them onto a given course, but will give them little knowledge of the route, other than the basics.

From then on you are on your own ! You may come upon a check point which may be a rallypicsurprise, but don' t be too alarmed, it may be "sucker" check point. rallyists have at one time fallen into one.

The object here is to stay on course, but should you goof, remember you're not the first, nor will you be the last. Just retrace your steps. If you have not found us by the next rallyer we will send out the blood hounds.

We will have a Rallye School this year for beginners and the seasoned rallyists may wish to better themselves. 1973 promises to be a very busy year, with a point rallye each month. The Warpath will be included as-a point rallye also.

Rallying is a most interesting and exciting sport for both the participants and the check point workers. This too is a family event, so if your spouse drives or navigates, and you do not, there' s always the need for check point workers. Here you can watch his or her progress.

If you'd like to know the type of auto to use for rallies and the appropriate thing to wear be sure to read page 22 of this issue, and act accordingly. It's's a sure way to influence friends and give the check point crews ulcers !

Ann Williams

Editor's Comment.: MOST of this list first appeared in the December, 1966 Gazette and can be read here. Below are two additions and some hints for Checkpoint workers from Zebbie Ramsey.

TOYOTA COROLLA: Tell everyone that you brought the sun with you and you have the Univac in the back seat.

ALFA ROMEO: Speak Italian and tell everyone how your car reminds you of Sophia Loren. Keep the spaghetti sauce off the gear shift knob.  Be sure tyhe outside temperature stays at 70 degrees.

I think it's only fair that we provide the Checkpoint crews with a few hints.  Being that they are out in the rain, sun, wind and whatever, there should be but one way, the best.

Use an airconditioned Cadillac, or an equivalent type, as a checkpoint control car.  Drag along a "Dune Buggy" so that you can get to those far out checkpoints.  Christen every rallye car making the checkpoint with a champagne bottle, empty from the last party. Never let them know they came into a sucker checkpoint, just watch.  Don' get involved in loud discussions, cat fights and love makin between the driver and the navigator.  Carry plenty of cat tails and don't play with the alligators.