It is with great deal of pride that Rocky Mountain Vintage Racing announces a very successful charity event, our Fourth Annual Race Against Kids’ Cancer. The race was once again held at High Plains Raceway, the hugely successful and challenging 2.5 miles circuit now in its sixth year of operation.
But let’s cut to the chase. RMVR raised in excess of $137,000 for our chosen charity, The Morgan Adams Foundation (MAF). This is the fourth year this fine organization, whose mission is to support research into cancer in children, has benefited from RMVR’s efforts. The prior three race weekends raised a total of over $225,000, meaning our four-year total is now over $360,000!
The money came from a variety of sources ranging from a lemonade stand (more on that later) to some very generous corporate support plus our very own RMVR members playing a major role with donations and solicitations which they made. Major corporate donations came from Schomp BMW, Engineering Economics Inc., The National Christian Foundation, and Peak Asset Management.
This year we had some added fund-raising attractions; namely on Thursday evening prior to the race weekend there was great Ross Bentley seminar (Mr. Speed Secrets), and a Friday data acquisition seminar presented by AiM Sports. Also there was a huge Saturday evening track-side dinner (all proceeds to MAF). All gate donations by spectators went to MAF.
Another major source of donations was from spectators buying a “Ticket To Ride.” These were 3-lap rides (At, of course, reasonable 9/10th speed!) in race cars during lunchtime both Saturday and Sunday. A “Ticket To Ride” was priced from $40 to $200 depending on the car and many folks donated more than the ticket cost with one donor laying down 500 bucks. Kudos to that dude.
And once again this year, Umbrella Girls could be rented (all proceed to the charity, course) to give shade on the hot pits. Needless to say, their services were SOLD OUT. Formula One has nothin’ on RMVR!
As evidence of the depth of the fundraising support, there was the 7-year old girl who set up a lemonade stand to raise money. She handed a jar with $41 inside and a huge smile on her face. This is the 3rd year in a row she has done this. Now that’s the spirit of giving.
Mentioned above, Driving Coach and author, Ross Bentley, attended and gave a seminar on Thursday evening. As a further fund raising incentive, the top five donation raisers for MAF got a free semi-private coaching lesson from Ross on Friday. And special thanks to Roger Caddell of AiM Sports for his amazing Friday seminar about analyzing data. All very cool stuff.
Oh, there was also some racing going on. The event was blessed with perfect racing weather, temps in the mid-80s, blue chamber-of-commerce skies, a gentle breeze, cool evenings, and dry as a bone. Entries came to 135 cars in five run groups coming from as far as Connecticut, Utah, Minnesota, and New Mexico. But the spirit of giving and our successful fund raising was the headline for the weekend. Not that there wasn’t some serious racin’ going on but with the vintage race ethic in full force — virtually no significant metal-to-metal contact during the weekend.
Formula Ford Run Group:
This year we once again featured Formula Ford, inviting all FFs, including contemporary cars. This resulted in 44 car FF grid (five better than last year) with about 25+ vintage FFs (’72 and older), a dozen or so Monoposto defined Club Fords (’73-’81ish), and a half dozen modern CFs and FFs (newer than ‘81).
One great feel-good story was the attendance of Reid Hazleton. Reid is a very accomplished FF racer who came to our event all the way from Milwaukee, WI. He took the fund raising challenge very seriously and raised over $6,500 for MAF thru some very innovative fund raising efforts. Wow! He raced a modern Piper DF-5 FF loaned to him for the weekend by Jamie Stiehr, RMVR’s very own and very fast RMVR FF racer. As far as FF racing went, several of our RMVR vintage FF lads gave the some of the guest modern FFs a real run for their money in some very close, fast, competitive races. Not that there was any serious competition going on, you understand.
Small Bore Run Group:
One racing highlight was Tatsuo Rosen in a Lotus Super 7. Tatsuo was a student at this year’s spring RMVR drivers’ school. A rookie, but he took first overall at our June Pueblo race and then first place in Sunday’s final small bore race challenging Roy Pouge. Pretty remarkable performance for a “newbie,” huh?
And speaking of racers from out-of state, Greg Wold also came from Maple Grove, Minnesota to race his very fast Mini Cooper in the Small Bore run group.
There were the usual help-your-fellow-driver stories. Rich Spritz loaned out his extra fan belt to fellow Porsche 912 driver, Woody Eppelsheimer. Jonathan Lane may get the hard luck award for the weekend. After putting his car on the pole Saturday, a radiator blew, then a head gasket. By Sunday, however, he’s running strong, although having to start at the back of the grid, working his way to a podium spot behind Jim Gray’s TR-4 and the Lotus 7 of Tatsuo Rosen.
Our always strong turn out of Formula Vees was no exception this weekend turning out 20 cars for their races. Lynn Fangue broke an engine/transmission mount Saturday morning but with the help of Bob Miller and his grandson and Gary Kopp, all pitched in and pulled the motor, replaced the mount, and had the car running in time to make the afternoon race. Typical stuff from the close knit FV ranks.
Someone pointed out that it is half way thru the season and there have not been any contact incidents in the Vee group! The competition has risen to the point where the front runners never lap the other competitors even during the 20 minute races.
Big Bore Racing:
The big bore group included a slew of mid-bore cars, mostly 2.0L B-Sedans. The BMWs of Jerry Hodges and Wayne Siebricht along with the Porsches of David Chase and Greg Noonan and the Lotus of Joe Bunton got the full measure of the Mustangs of Brad Leach and Mike Cox Boss 302s. Also qualifying in 2nd place was the always quick Chris Thompson in his South African GSM Dart (aka “The Blue Devil”).
Once again, sportsmanship was the order of the weekend: Adam Ackley in his Alfa racing with Rome Chelsi’s 911SC Porsche. Says Rome, “It’s great to run with RMVR and racers with this sort of attitude.” Another big bore racer, Gregg Ten Eyck (Datsun 510) notes, “RMVR is a great place to race. My congratulations to all the RMVR organization for an exceptional fundraiser and for a successful and safe weekend.” Randy Rosetta had numerous issues with his Mustang but fellow big bore drivers Mike Cox, Steve Hargus, and Kyle Hogan all pitched in to provided the needed parts and a hand with the repairs. Per Randy, “Without everyone’s assistance, I wouldn’t have been able to keep racing. That’s the vintage spirit!”
Wayne Gonder was racing his “just-built” ’67 BMW 2000CS. Guess what? Distributor problems. Brian Nelson, Kyle Popejoy, Wayne Siebrecht and Andrew Jordan came to the rescue, saving his debut weekend. “I’m so very thankful and happy to be in a club with such great people!” says Wayne.
Joe Bunton, RMVR’s illustrious Chief Driving Instructor, brought two cars to the track, lending his Lotus Super 7 to Steve Stansfield for the weekend. Both cars had issues, but by Sunday Joe, starting at the back of the field, got “in the zone” and had “one of my best races in 15 years! What a feeling! That’s why I race!”
FB, Wings & Things, Sports Racers:
Our FB, Wings & Things, Sports Racer run group was also 20 cars strong including a dozen FB cars, some coming from as far as Connecticut! Thanks Mark Giroux, Dave Handy, Will Thomas, and Travis Engen for bringing your beautifully prepared and fast FB cars! According to RMVR’s David Irwin, who really promoted all the FB cars for the weekend, “The Formula B races were fantastic, with 4 and 5 car trains and 7 cars all running in the 1:55s. One mistake in any race and you were immediately passed by three cars.”
Tyler Butterfield who is new to racing (never having set foot in a race car before this past spring) bested his personal best from his HPR spring race by 10 seconds a lap. By Sunday evening’s last race he finished just behind another FSV with a lap time of 2:02.
Scot Morton, running an exhibition contemporary Ralt RT-4 CanAm, finished Sunday just .02 second behind Travis Engen in his fabulous Chevron B17B. Scott will be moving his transponder forward next week.
RMVR’s Race Against Kids’ Cancer Committee wishes to thank all those who made contributions of time, money, and the vintage racing spirit to making the Fourth Annual Race Against Kids’ Cancer and huge success.