Published in the August 2015 issue of “Die Porsche Kassette”
Read the title from the back side: PCA Club Racing.
Most PCA members know a little about Club Racing from what they see in the Newsletters, from what they may hear and discuss with other Porsche friends, or from what they may see at the different tracks when these events are being held, but seldom do members know the inside workings of a PCA Club Race. I’d like to give you a glimpse at the back side of PCA Club Racing.
A PCA Club Race is one of the most interesting events for a Porsche owner to attend whether you come to the event as a racer, a volunteer, or just to enjoy the camaraderie and experience the sights and sounds of the spectacle that is PCA Club Racing.
These races are held throughout the US and Canada on some of the most known and respected tracks and sport exclusively Porsche racecars of all types and model years, grouped by classes.
PCA’s Club Racing’s Motto has always been: “There is a race class for every Porsche ever made”.
There is no entrance fee and attendees (only PCA members and their guests) have full access to the paddock (cars and drivers) and get a taste of what Club Racing is all about.
At many Club Races you can mingle with some of the best pro-drivers in the world.
Many pro-drivers are also PCA members who enjoy the camaraderie and competition of pure Club Racing.
Racing for the fun of it. What a concept! No prize money, just bragging rights and maybe a trophy.
Only in PCA Club Racing can an amateur racer compete against some of the top pro-drivers in the world.
Try to see if you can form a foursome of golf with Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson and Rory McIlroy.
Spencer Pumpelly and Andy Lally
A PCA Club Race takes years in the making and it requires the expertise and generosity of hundreds of volunteers to make it happen. Organizing Committees start working on next year’s Club Race the day this year’s ends.
The PCA Club Racing Committee, the PCA National Office and the PCA Regions work in unison to put a Club Race together.
The PCA Club Racing Committee maintains the Club Racing Rulebook, determines the licensing procedures and oversees all of the planning of a Club Race. One or more PCA Regions organize each Club Race and have full financial responsibility for their race.
In a typical year PCA puts together over 30 Club Races.
These are held at famed tracks in North America, such as:
Sebring International Raceway, NOLA Motorsports Park, Texas World Speedway, Road Atlanta, Thunderhill, Auto Club Speedway, Lime Rock, Monticello Motor Club, Circuit of the Americas (COTA), Buttonwillow, Watkins Glen, Motorsports Park Hastings, Mazda Laguna Seca, NJMP Thunderbolt Raceway, Virginia International Raceway (VIR), Putnam Park Road Course, Brainerd International, Canadian Tire Motorsports Park, Gingerman Raceway, High Plains Raceway, Road America, Mid Ohio, Miller Motorsports Park, Summit Point Motorsports Park, Hallet Motor Racing Circuit, Daytona International Speedway, and Motorsports Ranch, among others.
To give you an idea of the scope of things, let’s look at the first Club Race of the year: “The 48 Hours at Sebring”, since that’s my home Club Race.
The Organizing Committee, formed by Gold Coast Region and Suncoast Region members is made up of 30 members who oversee: Advanced Solo Events, Advertising, Autocross, Communications, Goodie Store, Grid, IDs, Impound, Information, Insurance, Logistics, Medical, Pace Cars, Program layout and printing, Registration, Scales, Schedules, Signage, Sponsors, Staging and Parking for rigs and vendors, Stewards assistance, Streaming video, Support Center, Tech Inspection, Test-and Tune, Timing and Scoring, Track Announcing, Traffic, Treasury, Vendors, Volunteers, Website, etc.
These Committee Members work under the guidance of not one, but two Committee Chairs who oversee and coordinate every single detail of the event.
At the 48 Hours at Sebring Club Race, it is not uncommon to have between 350 to 400 Porsche racecars, which will include: 350 to 400 drivers, 300 plus rigs and trailers with close to 1000 crew members, 250 to 300 volunteers, 100 corner workers and track safety personnel, 30 to 40 vendors and sponsors, over a thousand PCA members and their guests, a dozen PCA National Club Racing Officers (Stewards, Scrutineers, Timing & Scoring Officials, Club Race & License Coordinator) and another half dozen PCA National Staff and Officers as well as special domestic and international guests and VIPs.
All of these vehicles and people require an infrastructure to take care of the logistics such as: food, fuel, information, lodging, parking, safety, services, tires, water and much more.
The racetrack becomes a small city during the event, and it must be run as such. That is the responsibility of the PCA Regions’ Organizing Committee.
There’s also the side of racing. In order to make these races safe and fair, the racecars, the drivers and their safety equipment need to be inspected and checked to make sure they adhere to strict standards.
The same is true with the racing action. Rules and procedures must be followed and enforced in order to have safe, fair and successful races. Those are some of the responsibilities of the PCA Club Racing Committee.
At the “48 Hours at Sebring” we have also had daytime and nighttime Racing and Advanced Solo events, so it’s a full-day, every day. All of this runs rain or shine, hot or cold!
I hope you get the picture.
From the front side it all seems to work seamlessly, and that’s the aim.
From the backside it’s controlled chaos, carefully orchestrated by a team of highly knowledgeable and dedicated PCA members who make it look very easy by having foreseen and planned for every contingency.
Oh, and by the way, every single one of those hundreds of PCA members who make it all happen is a non-paid volunteer!
I’ve been truly blessed to get to see all sides of PCA Club Racing.
First as a member, attending and volunteering at several races, then as a “48 Hours at Sebring” Committee Member and as a PCA National Club Racing Scrutineer who also gets to work at some of our other great PCA Club Racing tracks. Woohoo!
Why don’t you make it a point to attend one or more of these great events throughout North America if you haven’t done so already, and better yet, why don’t you volunteer to help?
You won’t regret it, and you’ll probably get hooked too.
Don’t ask me how I know ;)
See you at the next PCA Club Race!
If you have any questions on how to obtain a PCA racing license or on PCA Club Racing in general, please contact the PCA Club Racing Licensing Coordinator at: .
For additional information on Club Racing and more, please visit my website:
Photos by Harvey Cummins and Pedro Bonilla
Ⓒ2015 Technolab / PedrosGarage.com