It was wet and nasty, but the SARRC Club participants forged ahead at Barber Motorsports in Birmingham, Ala. Despite the bad weather, accidents were few and spirits were high, Saturday. Autoblog wandered the paddock, talking to drivers and fans and snapping photos of anything interesting. Race results for those interested should be posted on the Web site of the Alabama Region SCCA soon. For a couple of stories from the participants check the jump. For those who just want to see some cool machinery, check out the gallery.
Lee Wagner, at right in picture above, brought his whole family down from Hickory, N.C. to Birmingham to race his 1976 Lynx B. Staying dry beneath the tarp are his son, Yates, on the left, his wife, Paige, in back, his daughter, Keely and his other son, Dalton.
The Lynx is powered by a 1200cc VW motor, which Lee says is way underpowered, but mandated by class rules. Also mandated are all the original VW suspension parts, wheels, and drum brakes all around. But, says Lee, it's affordable racing.
And for the Wagners, it's a family activity. Paige says they all try to go to as many races as they can.
Forest O'Heath and the number 33 have a long history. He says he chose the number after going through photos of himself as a child. One picture showed a very young, pre-school Forest standing next to a child's wagon, his shirt emblazoned with 33. "My last car had No. 6," Forest says. "So it just made sense."
Forest found his car in pieces, the rear end the victim of a fire. He re-assembled it himself, fabricating many of the pieces from scratch. Saturday was only the second time for him to race it, and the first time in the rain.
These are the people who make SCCA what it is: Amateur racers who don't have the latest and greatest machinery, who have minimal, possibly negative-balance budgets, but who have a passion and excitement for racing. Anyone who is getting a little bored with the highly commercial bickering of professional motorsports, or is tiring of blurry spy shots of the next award-winning minivan should attend a local SCCA event. The enthusiasm those people have for automobiles is unavoidably, incurably infectious.
For more, larger photos, be sure to check out the gallery.