By Charlie Parsons – 2021
From 1996 until 2007 there were few notes kept and little history written down. Anything written here is taken from foggy memories and questionable recollection. It is obvious that the club did well during this period. Although Auto-X events became scarce from 1996 to 2001 the annual spring and fall hillclimbs went off as normal. In 2001 Gary Brundrett proposed doing Auto-X again and started a series of events at the New Hampshire International Speedway (later the New Hampshire Motor Speedway.) These events were well received and Gary championed them for several years before turning over the chairmanship. Elsewhere in this history you will find an entire chapter dedicated to Auto-X from 2000 on detailing the many changes over the years.
Two thousand seven saw Paul Giblin as club President once more after having led the club several times in previous years. To start the year off meetings commenced at 8:00pm +/- a half hour. Later in the year meetings began fairly promptly at 7:30. The meetings were held at the Windmill restaurant in Concord. There is a big gap in the club’s history but a report from 1989 indicated that the club was less than broke. By contrast 2007 began with close to $9,000 in the Treasury. Obviously, somewhere along the way the club did some things right. The Club membership eventually totaled 107 and early in the year it was decided that the membership year would go from January to December.
The first event of the year, held in March, was a Wintercross, essentially an ice race in a field. The event was held at Pooh Corner Farm in West Bethel, Maine. There were 31 participants and all had a good time and hoped for more events in 2008.
The club held a complete series of Auto-X events. Before the season began it was decided that the Auto-X trailer needed a bit of care and that was taken care of. In addition to the Auto-Xs Director Bill Bennett also held a school for rookie drivers which was well received. A couple of important improvements to the Auto-X program were brought forth in 2007. The first was the adoption of SCCA classing and secondly, the requirement that all Helmets have a Snell certification.
Most of the events were held in the parking lot next to the main gate at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway. While this site was convenient there was still talk throughout the year of finding a new location. Among the sites considered were the Concord, Laconia, and Berlin airports as well as the Pease Trade Port. In Concord the Sprague building and NH Distributers were considered. Other suggestions were a site in Swanzey, the Voc-Tech Colleges, and a parking lot in Hooksett where the Monarchs train. Sadly none of these worked out. One alternate site that was used was the parking lot at the Hobo Railroad in Lincoln, NH. This site was used for the last two events of the year. On Saturday was a regular Auto-X and on Sunday the North Country Rumble was held. The “Rumble” was a special Auto-X in which four drivers formed a team and competed in one car and unlike a regular Auto-X all of the times (generally 4 runs for each driver) counted toward the team’s total time. The intent of the rumble was to bring in teams from other New England sports car clubs.
The spring and fall Ascutney Hill Climbs were held as usual. Jeff Barrette chaired the spring event, which had only 19 entrants causing some concern. The fall event Chaired by Dave Burden had a fair turn out with 34 competitors. There was some discussion about the low turnouts but it was noted that these were hard times for many and we would have to see what next year brings.
The year ended up with the club Holiday Party/Awards banquet held at the American Legion Hall in Loudon. A highlight of the party was the awarding of Life Membership to Paul Giblin. Paul joined the club in 1977 and over the years contributed greatly to the club including many years as the clubs President. The party is without a doubt the clubs most fun non-competitive event….well, non-competitive if you don’t count the Yankee Swap!
In two thousand eight, Howard Roundy led the club and called meetings to order promptly at 7:30. Although there had been talk of moving meetings to various locations, all meetings were again held at the Windmill Restaurant. The treasury was healthy at $12,000+ and the membership would reach 114, up slightly over the previous year. Of the 114, fifteen of these were Life Members with the brothers, Dave and Doug Valliere being awarded Life Membership this year.
Several Wintercross events were planned at Pooh Corner Farm in West Bethel Main but the first one was called off due to lack of snow, which made it a bit difficult. By contrast the second event, a month later was COLD however, the third and final event went quite smoothly.
Bill Bennett was Auto-X director again and planned eight events. As the Auto-X season approached there was discussion about stock cars using exceptionally sticky tires. It was decided that Stock class cars must use tires with a tread wear rating of 140 or greater. Cars with lower ratings would run in a new class called Sticky Stock. As it turned out we saw 10 sticky stock cars through the year but nearly 3 times that of “Stock” competitors. Where the first Wintercross was canceled due to lack of snow, the first Auto-X, at the Hobo Railroad was canceled because of too much snow! A drivers school (for rookies) was held in conjunction with the first Auto-X week-end held in Loudon. The NE Drift club was our guest at the first Auto-X but, sadly, the driving style for Drift did not mesh well with Auto-X and the invitation became a one-time deal. In the future, the club did offer to help and support the drift club as they got established. Car counts at our events were around 60 and often we were able to get 6 or seven runs in. Most events had runs of about 50-55 seconds although one event took a whopping 90 seconds for the average run. One of the highlights for any event was Butch Kings Chevy C-10 Blazer. Well, it was Blazer on the outside but NASCAR on the inside and it was a hoot watching “Butchie” throw the thing around the course with the inside front tire hovering well above the earth. Eventually seven Auto-X events would be held along with the North Country Rumble, which closed out the year in November (Brrrr!) at the Hobo Railroad in Lincoln, NH. It was a good year and in the end about one hundred people visited our events.
Drew Young was Hillclimb director with Dave and Diane Burden chairing the spring event. The NE Drift group asked to join in the hill- climbs and brought several participants for the first climb. There is no report of how that went but one drifter showed up for the fall event but refused to play by the rules and was banned from future events. In general the spring event went well with 42 drivers enjoying good weather. Drew chaired the fall event, which suffered through rainy conditions and saw only 38 entrants. One bright spot was that a rookie driver school was developed and was held on Friday before the event.
As usual, the Holiday Party/Awards Ceremony was Held in December was the last event of the year. Attendees were asked to bring canned goods for the Community Action Program for Belknap and Merrimack counties. There was a good response and the canned goods were greatly appreciated. Awards were handed out and the evening was finished off with a Yankee Swap, which was a lot of fun for everyone. Many of the favorite gifts had to do with alcohol!!!
As we swing into 2009 we find Howard Roundy again holding the gavel and presiding over the club. Dave Burden took the VP duties with Donna Stevens handling Executive Secretary duties and George Young holding the Treasury. Paul Giblin was good enough to assume the Corresponding Secretary position. The treasury had increased to about $15,000. The membership for 2009 would tally 105 by year’s end of those 15 were Life Members. Early in the year it was decided to create a special membership card for life members.
There were no winter events in 2009 but the club did have representation at the annual Speedway Expo in Springfield, MA.
On the Auto-X front, there was some issue with the Speedway as they wanted the club to have a five million dollar insurance policy. Fortunately they relented and accepted our policy from K&K Insurance. This issue did give reason to look at other venues…again. Among the possible sites was the old horse racing site, Rockingham Park. Bill Bennett directed a fairly healthy Auto-X program in 2009 although car counts were down a bit with only two events getting more than fifty competitors. While the “Stock” class remained strong, as did most of the other classes, the “Sticky Stock” class had only four competitors in only two cars. Most events were held at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. At the May event canned food donations were accepted for the Concord Community Action Area Food Pantry. The final Auto-X was held in November with the North Country Rumble relay team Auto-X held the next day. The “Secret Pimps” from SCCA won the event and Howard Roundy’s “Purple Haze” team was the top SCCNH team finishing third.
The spring Ascutney Hillclimb was well attended with 51 entries. In conjunction with this was a rally held at the hill with competitors going at one speed all the way to the top of the hill. The September Hillclimb went very well with 45 entrants and great weather. There were some wiring problems and also a realization that some of our radios were getting old.
In addition to the rally held at the spring Ascutney, Don Taylor put on a rally at the end of August. This event was to benefit the Kevin William Young Memorial Fund. Kevin, who was the son of Life Member George Young, had died tragically. There were 18 entrants and several dressed as Kevin Young would have. A final rally and tour was held in October. This rally was a scavenger hunt and finished up at Vermont Sports Car in Colchester, VT. Rally participants were treated to a tour of Vermont Sports Car.
As always the year ended up with the Holiday Party/Awards Banquet. “Santa” George Young was the chair of the event and it was again held at the American Legion Hall in Loudon. Hart’s Turkey Farm provided the food and did a good job as always. Awards were handed out and the night was finished off by the always hilarious Yankee Swap.
A new decade and another year with President Howard Roundy. The club was in good hands. After trying to change the meeting night from Friday the previous year Howard was finally able to bring the gavel down on Tuesday nights. The treasury, though unchanged from the previous year, was still quite healthy at just over $15,000. Membership for 2010 topped off at 104 members so the club was in good shape. In April the club received the bad news that Life Member Perl Benner had passed away. For many years Perl had kept communications equipment for Hill Climbs in top shape and he, with his wife Shirley were regulars at meetings and at Hill Climbs. It was decided that the “Worker of the Year” award would now be called “The Perl and Shirley Benner Award”.
Early in the year Dave Estey asked if he could be Publicity Director. Although his reports often started with “We have been publicized” Dave did a great job of sending press releases, adding posts and pictures to the club’s website and keeping track of web traffic. He also made sure the club was visible at various car shows and other events.
The Auto-X program was very good and was run by Terry Murphy IV. This year there was also a Sponsorship director, Dave Girardo, who managed to find sponsors for all of the events so that we had someone else helping pay the bills. There were a total of eight regular Auto-X events held with an average participation of around fifty. Most of the events were held at the speedway in Loudon however, one event was run at the Hobo Railroad the day before the North country Rumble. Courses ran from several in the mid forty second range up to one that ran an average of ninety five seconds. A couple other events were in the seventy plus second range.
This year the New England Hillclimb Association annual meeting was sponsored by SCCNH and our President, Howard, was the moderator for the rules portion of the meeting. As we approached Hillclimb season a point of interest was the adding motorcycles to our hillclimbs. This was something that the Killington club allowed. Ultimately, we decided not to allow them.
Our Hillclimb program got off to a good start near the end of May with Dave and Diane Burden chairing the spring and fall events. In the spring there were 56 participants taking on the Mt. Ascutney access road and each car got three runs. It was decided to cap the entries at future events at 55 cars. The fall Ascutney was down a bit at 35 competitors. It seemed to be a trend that participation for the fall events at all hills were down. Sadly, there was some less than sportsman-like behavior that needed to be dealt with but all in all it was a good event. As the season ended, a proposal was made and carried to spend $1500 to update the communications equipment for the next season.
The Drift group , DriftSpot , came to realize after the previous year that they did not exactly fit well with any of our events but asked if we would sanction some of their events. This sanctioning would give them access to our insurance, equipment, and also our contact with New Hampshire Motor speedway. DriftSpot ran several events with our blessing and VP Dave Burden attended the events to advise and to protect our assets.
The annual Holiday/Awards banquet was held at the American Legion in Loudon and with George and Trese Young Chairing . While the cocktail hour was in progress everyone was treated to a delightful slide show which highlighted the year in pictures. All in attendance enjoyed a great dinner, catered by Hart’s Turkey Farm after which was the presentation of awards followed by the Yankee Swap. This year a gift theme of “As seen on TV” was proposed. You can imagine what kind of “treasures” that would bring. After the swap everyone tore the house down…really! Nearly everyone pitched in to help take down the decorations and bring the Legion hall into “as found” condition.
The first meeting of 2011 started off with Vice President Dave Girardo banging the gavel as President Dave Burden was unable to attend due to car problems. Doesn’t look good Dave, better fix that! As it was decided not to publish Treasury details any longer I can only tell you that the treasury was very healthy. Membership for the year took a huge jump and was up nearly 50% with the final tally being around 150 members. At the February meeting the President notified all that the meetings would from thence forward be held on the second Friday of the month. A sad note for club was the passing of two long-standing members and friends of the club. Simeon “Sim” Shortman passed in February and in April we lost Stan “Ice Man” Jackson.
There were several winter activities to keep us busy this year. There was an indoor karting event held with a Scavenger Hunt Rally held en route to the event. Twenty drivers attacked the Karting track but sadly, only one opted to do the Scavenger hunt. The event lost money but netted a sponsor so I guess it’s all good. At the end of 2010 the NH Speedway approached the club about doing a Winter Cross in one of their parking lots. Twenty four drivers practiced their slipping and sliding skills and surprise, surprise, for the most part the front wheel drive cars kicked butt on the 4WD/All WD cars. The big winner was President Dave Burden who kept the pedal to the metal in his antique diesel Rabbit. Really, he did. Apparently his technique was to mat the throttle and use the brakes to slow as/if necessary. Dave is that the same Rabbit that couldn’t make it to the first meeting?
Occasionally various organizations would make requests of the club, perhaps borrowing equipment or having a presence at some event. So it was that in April, the Dartmouth College Cycling Club asked if our club could supply a couple of drivers to pace their annual “Enfer du Nord”(Hell of the North) Criterium bicycle races. Charlie Parsons and Dave Estey volunteered to go to Hanover to represent the club. The drivers reported that it was great fun to pace the field and watch the strategies being played out behind them.
Terry Murphy IV became the Auto-X Director and ultimately presided over seven regular events plus the North Country Rumble and a Rumble qualifier. Auto-X participation was up a bit with an average of fifty entrants and one event having sixty eight. Many of the courses were fiftyish seconds on the average with a few having runs in the seventies. One of the club’s own, Dave Patton, became the season sponsor through his “FUTOFab” company. One of the highlights of the year was President Dave Burden’s entry of a stretched Cadillac “Presidential” limousine. It probably holds a record for number of passengers taken on a single Auto-X run! A big change for this year was the breaking up of the stock class. The class had gotten quite large and in order to give more competitors a shot at a trophy, the faster SCCA classes became the “Stock Performance” class and the slower SCCA classes would compete as “Stock Sedan.” Another change was the dropping of one event when running for the championship. This gave a break to anyone who absolutely HAD to miss an event and also to those who maybe just had a bad day. Speaking of missing an event, everyone missed the final Auto-X in October as the Parking lot at the speedway was covered in snow!
The spring Hillclimb got off to a “booming” start…booming as in thunder boomers. Thirty nine entrants got two runs on Saturday Morning but in the afternoon mother nature showed her hand and bad weather prevailed. Fortunately, Sunday the weather was perfect and everyone got in five runs. Wireless radios were tried and found to work top to bottom however, for the time being they would be backup only and the wired radios would be primary. For the fall Ascutney mother nature again made herself known. Just before the event Hurricane Irene made her way through New England causing much damage. Although some roads around Mt Ascutney were closed the hill itself was unharmed and 35 competitors saw great weather for the event. There was some concern with low worker turnout though.
Early in the year NH Motor Speedway held an open house. The club was asked to participate and so an exhibition Auto-X was held. The club’s “understudy,” Drift Spot also held a Drift event so we were well represented.
Drift Spot, while not technically part of the club, still counted on us for support in various ways. The group held four drift events throughout the year.
In addition to mentoring Drift Spot, the club was asked to put on an event for the “Smokin Stangs” Ford Mustang club. This would be their event, held in September and we would just administrate it for them.
This was certainly a busy year, what else could we be involved with? How about the “Climb to the Clouds?” Yes, SCCNH was asked to sanction the Climb to the Clouds Hillclimb in June. The event would utilize NEHA regulations and anticipated that the majority of participants would come from outside the club and the area. By all reports the event was a big success and Mt. Washington Auto Road was interested in having us do the event again in the future.
The North Country Rumble finished the competition year but this time Saturday was a qualifier for SCCNH teams with the top five teams being allowed to “rumble” on Sunday. This was done as the intent of the rumble was to be a regional event however SCCNH teams had begun to take over and other clubs were not given a chance to register. This plan worked well as there were Teams from NH, VT, CT, and ME with the “Smokin Subie” team from the Cumberland Motor Club coming out on top closely followed by two SCCNH teams.
In early December the club held its annual Awards/Holiday Banquet. George Young, whom some say has ties with Santa Claus, chaired the event held again at the Loudon American Legion Hall. A highlight was dessert featuring either black forest cake or apple crisp. With a little effort some scored a bit of both. Gifts were piled under the tree for the annual Yankee Swap with this year’s theme being “Harbor Freight”. You can imagine what kinds of “treasures” were traded that night. I’m a little confused though as I didn’t know Harbor Freight carried booze!
The year started off with President Paul Giblin calling the first meeting to order at 7:20 at the WindMill Restaurant in Concord. President Paul was just a bit casual about meeting start times but business got done and everybody was happy. A benefit of the “casual start” was that most everybody got to finish their dinner! The year started without an Executive Secretary but eventually Rob Pellerin stepped up. Membership was down slightly at 142 but that is still not too bad.
As we moved into the year there were a couple of important items that were brought forward. First, Howard Roundy spoke of this new website called MotorSportReg that was designed to handle event registrations. The club would begin to use this service and still does as of this writing in 2021. Next, with times being a bit hard a “Rainy Day Fund” was proposed. This fund would be used to aid any member that might be seeing financial hardship. This motion passed unanimously! Another item was the New England Motorsports Museum. This museum would highlight New England motorsports of all kinds. After some discussion it was decided to purchase a special platinum membership on behalf of the club and along with this a commemorative brick would be purchased. The museum had indicated that there might be a place to do a club display and the club set aside $800 to cover that cost should it come to fruition.
While monthly meetings were quite often “special” events there were a couple that were of particular interest. In April 1971 SCCNH club President and life member, Jerry Venne visited and spoke to the club. In August the club went remote for its monthly gathering. Ray Boissoneau had invited the club to meet at his vintage race car shop. Ray’s shop, in Concord, was full of vintage (mostly 30s and 40s) Indy cars and Indy midget cars but he also has some Can-Am cars, Rally cars, and others. In addition the walls were covered with memorabilia. His shop was like visiting a small museum and everyone enjoyed looking at the cars over. Ray was an officer of the New England Motorsports Museum and that being the case at the end of the meeting President Paul presented him with a check for the clubs membership and for the commemorative brick.
Competition got started early with the club holding two Winter–X events at the Speedway although the second one was on dry pavement. There were 35 who slipped around at the first event and 28 took on what was essentially a cold Auto-X at the second event.
Just as they had the year before, the Dartmouth College Cycling Club asked if we might again pace their bicycle races. Dave Estey and Charlie Parsons again volunteered to take on this task. They both arrived at the event with shiny cars covered with Auto-X numbers and more importantly SCCNH badging.
Another event that carried over from the previous year was a trip to Checkered Flag Indoor Karting. It was a fun low stress event for those who attended.
The Auto-X season got started in April with Erik Saunders and Dave Estey co-directing. It was a fairly aggressive season with eight regular events as well as a beginner driving school and an Intermediate Auto-X school. Precision Imports was the Auto-X series sponsor but we also had sponsors for every event as well. Did we make money? Well I guess. Most events had about 60 competitors and most had average times of about 40 seconds although there was one longer event that had lap times of around 75 seconds. In all about 120 different drivers participated in our Auto-X events in 2012. There were almost always six or more runs so everyone was happy.
The Hillclimb season got underway in May with 47 drivers participating in the spring Ascutney event. It should be noted that many of these were new to hillclimbs. Jeff and Sarah Barrett chaired both the spring and fall events for 2012. For the fall event participation was down a bit at 37 drivers. A proposal was floated to run the Ascutney “long course” the next year. Some of the logistic concerns were the need for more worker stations and workers and also for the possibility of more cars off course (crash.) The upper portion of Ascutney has some very technical sections.
While the Drift Spot club was beginning to go it on their own we still loaned them cones for their events. In addition we also ran another Auto-X for the Smokin Stangs club. This event is a good money maker for our club.
In October the North Country Rumble was held at New Hampshire Motor Speedway and saw eight teams competing for the honors. There were teams from four different clubs but SCCNH teams swept the top three spots! The winners were “Team Bromance.” I’ll let you try to guess how that name got chosen.
In November we held the “Turkey Trot” rally which started at the Wal-Mart parking lot in Tilton. Generally it would end wherever participants felt that they were totally lost or if they were lucky at the finish in Meredith. Proceeds of the event would go to the Kevin Young Memorial Scholarship Fund.
With the season over it was time for the Awards/Holiday Party. The party would again be held at the Loudon American Legion. There was a box for canned goods to be donated to a local food kitchen and many didn’t bring a can or two but rather brought in bags full of groceries. The Yankee Swap didn’t have a theme this year but limited “gifts” to $20. Lot’s of flashlights and lottery tickets this year!
A new year and a new President! Terry Murphy IV took control of the gavel for 2013. Although the venue remained the WindMill Restaurant the meeting date was changed to the second Tuesday of the month. By the end of the year the club had 226 members, a huge jump from the previous years not to shabby 142. Publicity was taken care of by Dave Estey and he noted that photos by Chris Barnes really added to a boom of FaceBook traffic. Sadly the club suffered a couple of losses in 2013. The first was Keith Dupont who ran Kinetic Motorworks, a frequent event sponsor. Keith was also known for his blistering runs in his bright red turbocharged Honda Prelude. The second loss was that of our meeting host, Louie Smirnioudis, who owned the WindMill Restaurant. Louie died of cancer and a donation in his name was made to the Dana Farber Cancer Center.
As usual the club was involved in more than just Auto-X, Hillclimbs and Rallies. Originally two Wintercross events were planned but only one was held in early March. Also in March, Mike Ruggerio chaired an event at Maine Indoor Karting. In April, Charlie Parsons again represented the club by being Pace Car for the Dartmouth Cycling Club’s Bicycle races. In May the club loaned cones to Make-a-Wish for an event they were holding. Our club always strives to be a “good neighbor”. The club was again asked by the Speedway to participate in a fan day. Howard Roundy and crew were already to help but ultimately the Speedway canceled their event. In June the club put on an Auto-X for New Hampshire Sheriffs. The Carroll County Sheriff’s Department came away the big winner. Not an event per se’ but in July Ray Boussineau again hosted the club at his vintage race shop/museum. Funny, meeting participation always goes up when we go there! Late in the year, Dave Estey (and perhaps others) participated in a memorial cruise for Keith Dupont who, as noted, passed earlier in the year.
For 2013 Dave Estey showed that he was a glutton for punishment by handling not only Publicity but also by becoming the Auto-X chair. Dave set up an aggressive schedule of nine Auto-X events and two rookie schools. For the most part the events had between 55-65 participants but a couple of events tickled on around 70 drivers. Run times were generally below 50 seconds on the average and a couple were down around 35 seconds. As you might expect all of the events had 6 or more runs. High temperatures were noted at a lot of the events this year and in a couple of cases the heat may have shut down events earlier than they might have. We did have an “incident” this year. A newer driver piloting a particularly potent Lotus sports car lost control and went off course. A spectator was unfortunately in the path and was struck suffering a broken leg. This incident led to the re-evaluation of where spectators would be allowed and also the diligence that would be taken to have waivers signed. An item that came up several times through the year was the need for a new Auto-X trailer. Stay tuned on this one. Several changes came about this year and one of the most significant was the creation of a novice class. This class of first year drivers allowed “newbies” to get their feet wet and compete for their own class trophy. Another change was the appointment of a worker coordinator who would ensure that all drivers would report for their work assignment. Miss work and your times were disallowed! Late in the year the club was approached by the GT-86 (Subaru BRZ/Toyota FRS) club to run in one of our events with their own class. No word on how that went.
The Hill Climb season started before the first event this year as SCCNH hosted the New England Hill Climb Association (NEHA) rules meeting/banquet. Howard Roundy acted as Moderator for the rules meeting and Drew Young was the Master of Ceremonies. There were a number of awards handed out but of particular note, Don Taylor was awarded not only “Worker of the Year” but also “Worker of the Decade”. The spring Ascutney saw fifty drivers who got three runs each day. Drivers also got treated to WARM meals and workers and drivers received spiffy T-shirts. Thanks to chairs Drew Young and Don Taylor and to the great workers for putting on a great event. The fall Ascutney saw great weather. There was a good turn out for the fall Ascutney with 45 drivers. By all accounts novice chairs Eric and Lyssa Saunders put on a good event.
As a side note although the next Climb to the Clouds hill climb was some time away plans were on going. In August it was announced that Subaru of America had come on board as the event sponsor.
As the year started to wind down the North Country Rumble was held. Interest in this event seemed to have dwindled though as only five teams participated and only one of those was from outside SCCNH.
A kind of different event was held in October. There was an un-official, not sanctioned tour for anything with wheels. A number of club members gathered for a tour around the lakes region. A couple of hardy souls were on motorcycles! The tour ended up at the Police Motorcycle Museum in Meredith.
As usual the year wrapped up with the awards banquet. Donna Stevens offered to handle the arrangements. With the Loudon American Legion Hall no longer available it was decided to hold the event at the Loudon Country club…..uh, hold on! Late in the year the country club notified us that it didn’t have enough winter business to maintain staff and decided to close. Fortunately we were able to secure a room at the Concord Holiday Inn. The Inn provided a nice room, a great meal and a good time. The Yankee swap was recommended to be a white elephant item from the garage. Being at the Holiday Inn, a number of after parties were held….in rooms gotten at a special rate, I might add.
Terry Murphy IV was again President in 2014 and held court at the WindMill Restaurant on the second Tuesday of each month. Membership was up a bit and now SCCNH was 239 members strong. The club was still getting a lot of exposure through FaceBook as well as other sources.
There was no Winter-Cross or go-cart events during this winter and in fact the first activity was the pacing of the Dartmouth Cycling Clubs bicycle races in early April. Howard Roundy in his Lotus and Charlie Parsons and his Rabbit handled the pacing duties. There were a couple other events to note as well. The Club was asked to set up a “Match” Auto-X for the benefit of the New Hampshire Motor Speedway’s Children’s Charity. This being the club’s pet charity in recent years, our participation was a given. The race would be between Cheryl LaPrade, club member, Auto-Xer, and director of the charity and Jerry Gappens, the track manager. In the end Cheryl won by a half second. Way to go Cheryl! The club was also asked to put on an Auto-X for the “Smokin Stangs” Mustang club. This became a problem as it was scheduled for the same week-end as the Climb to the Clouds still, we managed to pull off both events with Lee Robinson heading up a crew to keep the ponies in check.
There were a couple of things in the wind that would be of interest to the club in the future. First was more information on the N. E. Motorsports Museum. This raised considerable interest. Another item which caused excitement was the recent sale of the oval tracks at the old fairgrounds in Canaan, NH. The word was that the new ownership was developing a small “club type” road course. Hope was raised that perhaps this might be a new venue for the club to hold events. Stay tuned!
As the Auto-X season approached members were asked to keep their eyes open for something that might be acceptable as a new Auto-X trailer as the old one was showing its age. Also discussed was the need for better crowd control. The incident from the previous year where a car had hit a spectator was driving this move. There was much discussion about where spectators could or couldn’t be. It was also reiterated that “we didn’t have spectators.” Anyone at the event needed to be a driver or “a member of a pit crew.” Ah, but what about someone wandering into our event from another event. It was decided that when a driver or “crew” signed our waiver they would get a wristband. All participants would be tasked with being on the lookout for persons without the band and then escorting them to sign our waiver.
The club held eight Auto-X events in 2014. Local CPA, Doug Bohlman and Ballistic Motorsports were the major sponsors for the season. Participation was pretty high averaging around 60 drivers with a couple of events having 68. Events had average times of a low of around 38 seconds to a high of around a minute. In May a “Rookie” class was held for 32 newbies. Sadly a lack of experienced volunteers kept the turnout down.
Prior to getting things going on the hillclimb scene the club had to approve rule changes as handed down by NEHA. All was well except for a rule about roll cage material. We accepted the rule that required structural tubing but made an exception grandfathering cages built before the rule change. Eric and Alyssa Saunders chaired the Spring Ascutney. Thirty eight drivers signed up to do the long hill. Despite having to stretch the workers a bit thin the event went well. The Fall Ascutney was run on the regular hill course. Don Taylor and Vanessa Vittum kept the event on track and the 49 competitors under control.
The Climb to the Clouds hillclimb was held in July. This event was not a “regular” hillclimb. Most, but not all, club members were relegated to volunteer status. Only very experienced SCCNH drivers were accepted to sign up for the event which instead focused on more professional drivers. With big name sponsors such as Subaru this was indeed a special event. David Higgins was the “King of the Hill” setting a new record of 6 minutes and 9.09 seconds. It was a great event that ran incredibly smoothly and was graced with wonderful weather. Kudos to Chair Paul Giblin and all of the volunteers.
With the season started to wrap up Terry Murphy III presented a quote for a BRAND NEW trailer. The price tag of nearly $10,000 was a big pill for some to swallow and in particular for some of the “elders” who had seen the club coffers at zero. It took a month or so to think about it but in the end an order was put in for a new trailer…but wait, we are not done yet! Also proposed at the end of the year was $2500 for new timing gear, computer, timing lights, and such. This was pared down to $1500 and passed. The hillclimbers feeling monetarily “left out” after all the money allocated for Auto-X equipment submitted a request for some radios and also pop up canopies for the corner workers. It was decided to budget $5,000 for hill climb equipment. After all that the club still had money!
And so we again come to the end of another year and what a year it was! Donna Stevens once again volunteered to host the awards banquet which, again, would be held at the Concord Holiday Inn. Paul Giblin was called upon to MC the event which as always finished off with a Yankee Swap with Automotive Accessories being the theme.
It’s Howard’s turn again! Yup, Howard Roundy is again president with Rob Saporito acting as V.P. This is a big year as it is the 60th anniversary of the founding of the club!! By year’s end 224 people had signed up for membership in the club. Despite the club going on a spending spree, there was still ample money in the club treasury although unless you went to a club meeting “how much” would be a secret. The club decided it would be better to not advertise that information.
Although there was talk of a Wintercross, it just didn’t happen this year. What happened this year? The Dartmouth Cycling Club again asked the club to pace the bicycle races and Charlie Parsons offered to do the job with his ruby red Mustang. After the event Charlie noted that there was a major crash on the final turn of the final lap of the main event. “I looked in my mirror and saw wheels, arms and legs going everywhere.” Fortunately there were no major injuries. Another activity the club got involved with was to assist the Mass Tuning club to put on an event. SCCNH would receive $500 for its assistance. Not bad! In July the club held a charity tour to the Owls Head Museum in Rockland Maine. The Tour benefitted the Kevin Young Memorial Fund.
Of interest to the club was that the North East Motorsport Museum was moving ahead. The organization was well on it’s way to raising funds needed to break ground and had obtained a site on New Hampshire Motor Speedway property. Another miscellaneous item was that the club would again hold it’s July meeting at Ray Boisseneau’s race shop. It seems that this was getting to be an annual event.
There are things to tell about Auto-X but the first is that the club had a new Auto-X trailer. It didn’t come easy as when the trailer got to the dealer it was not as specified with respect to the front windows. Eventually all was well and the club received it and then had it done up with a decorative wrap complete with stripes and a large club logo.
Andrew Mercer did a great job as Auto-X chair and the club had a very healthy Auto-X season with nine events planned and a surprise thrown in near the end of the season. For a change, each event had a cute little name such as “Hot Summer Fun” and October Cone Fest. Almost every event had sixty competitors or more with a couple in the seventies. A couple of events had average times in the mid 30 second range which allowed for nine runs but most had times near 50 seconds and allowed for 8 runs. That was enough on a hot day and there were some. Of note, reoccurring timing issues began to be a bit of an issue and it was suggested that a committee be formed to investigate a new timing system.
The surprise event? In August Dave Delgenio, manager of a new “club type” road course paid a visit to the business meeting. The track was built at the site of the old fairgrounds in Canaan, NH. Dave told the club about the track and it’s mission statement and he offered the club a date of September thirteenth to run an event. The club accepted and 46 drivers signed up for the event. There was considerable debate about whether or not to allow novice drivers. Some felt that the high speed would be too much for new drivers. Others felt that the rookies would tend to be timid and that the real danger was the seasoned drivers who would be “going for it.” It turns out that the latter was correct with several of the experienced drivers altering the landscape at the edges of the track!
George Young chaired the spring Ascutney Hillclimb. Forty four had pre-registered but more were expected at the hill. By all accounts it went well. Workers were well fed with deli platters on Saturday and a barbeque on Sunday.
In the fall the Ascutney Hill Climb was chaired by Don Taylor and Vanessa Vittum. It was decided that the climb would be a tribute to Nelson Shepard, a long time Hill climber and that fall event would be called the Nelson Shepard Memorial Hill Climb. The event went well with 4 runs on Saturday and 5 on Sunday. A memorial for Doug was well received.
As the year started to wrap up Gary Brundrett motioned that Corrine Waite be made a life member. The motion passed. Corrine and her husband Butch, who had recently passed were dedicated long term members of the club.
This being the 60th anniversary of the club, President Howard formed a committee to oversee the end of the year award banquet holiday party. Drew Young and Rob Saporito would be assisting Donna Stevens with the planning. The event was held at the Concord Holiday in. All attendees were given a small travel bag that included a number of SCCNH themed gifts including a lapel pin, key chain, license plate surround and more that this writer has forgotten. It was a grand time that was finished off with the traditional “Yankee Swap”. The theme this year was “In the Trunk”. Well that narrows it down!
Howard Roundy again was at the helm of the Sports Car Club of New Hampshire and it’s 220 plus membership. Rob Saporito was again his right hand man and Vice-President. Treasurer (for life?) Drew Young said that the club had money but how much is still secret and word is that there is a secret “slush” fund funneling out money for car parts that end up in the treasurer’s garage. Just kidding here. A couple of meetings into the year President Roundy proposed that meetings be held on the first Wednesday of each month and this became law. There was talk of moving meetings from the WindMill Restaurant, where meetings had been held for years, to another venue. This suggestion was tabled and meetings continued at the WindMill.
There was no talk of Wintercross this year but Charlie Parsons contacted the White Mountain Chapter of the BMW club about getting an invite for SCCNH to join them in one of their ice races. That club normally runs Ice Trials on Newfound Lake. The BMW club replied that we would be welcome at any event if the lake froze sufficiently….It didn’t so no Ice Trials.
The Next club event was to be a tour of Vermont Sports Car to be held in April. Sadly this event got pushed back and ultimately did not happen. What else didn’t happen? A group called the “Wicked Big Meet” asked SCCNH to put on an Auto-X for them. Normally there is good money for the club in running these events but it would be hard to find people in our club who would want to chase cones for another club especially since the event was to be held in CONNECTICUT!
An event that would not happen this year did start to get attention. The next “Climb to the Clouds” was to be held in 2017. As this was going to be a big event, the largest ever for the club, planning had to get underway in 2016. A couple of big names that, early on, were expected to compete were David Higgins and Travis Pastrana. The big names that were going to make it all happen, with the help of the club, were Paul Giblin and Howard Roundy.
Andrew Mercer was the Auto-X director and planned ten events for the year. The first event happened on April 17, at the Hobo Railroad in Lincoln, NH. There was some concern as to whether there might still be snow in the parking lot but all was good. Despite being a small venue and quite a drive for most, there were 44 competitors. A course was devised that took an average of about 52 seconds to complete. Sadly, timing issues limited the number of runs to just five. This would not be the last of our timing issues as the club would chase various problems for several years. A couple weeks later the club held its first Auto-X school for novices with 24 in attendance. A second school, later in the year, brought ten more interested students. On the average Auto-X participation was a bit down for the year with most events having numbers in the mid-fifties or less. The exception was an event held at the track in Canaan. Nearly 80 competitors made eight runs each and posted times averaging 76 seconds. A couple of side notes for the year, the new Auto-X trailer was received, outfitted, and worked very well. The other note was that investigations were being made into the possible use of a go kart track at the new Club Motorsports in Tamworth, NH. Club Motorsport is a first class road course being operated as “closed to members” only.
On the Hillclimb scene, early in the year we were looking for chairman for both Ascutney events. As the spring event was approaching a chair still had not been found and workers as well as competitors were needed. It is assumed that Hillclimb Director, Drew Young was Chairman of the May Ascutney. Ultimately, the event went well with 48 drivers attacking the hill and workers did a great job. Sweet River BBQ handled lunch preparation and made everyone “fat and happy.” Rain Sunday kept the number of runs down to only three . By the way, the Hillclimb trailer had been vinyl wrapped with stripes and a club logo and looked spiffy indeed! After the spring event things started to roll and Don Taylor stepped up to chair the fall event. Thirty four competitors were on hand and Sweet River BBQ was again doling out food. What could be better?
As the year started to wind down we were given a report that the New Hampshire Motorsport Museum was progressing well. There were many donations of building materials. Another side note was that the club’s own Dave Patton was acting as a project manager on the build.
To close the year out, Donna Stevens once more chaired the annual awards banquet/Christmas/Holiday Party. The party, held at the Concord Holiday Inn, followed the time honored format of food, awards and Yankee Swap. Also this year was a raffle with many donated prizes including a day with the Tim O’Neil Rally School. The result of the raffle was that the club was able to donate $1180 to the NH Speedway Children’s Charity. Another special highlight of the evening was the awarding of Life Membership to Gary Brundrett for his many years of support and service to the club.
It’s a new year and the club will be guided by….Howard? Again? Yup, but this year Mark Brook would hold the number two spot. The annual membership stayed relatively stable at 216 members. Most club meetings were held at the WindMill Restaurant in Concord on the first Wednesday of the month except for July, August, and November. The July meeting would be canceled because of the Climb to the Clouds. The August meeting was held at Ray Boissoneau’s race shop. It is always a pleasure to meet at this venue and see all of Ray’s vintage race cars. Ray is a great host and loves to share stories about his collection. For our November meeting we were again given a treat. That meeting was held at the newly opened North East Motorsport Museum. The club voted a gift of $250 to the museum in appreciation.
This paragraph will deal with some miscellaneous issues of 2017. In August, it was learned that “the Old Goat”, life member Gary Brundrett was suffering and being treated for severe back pain. Gary was a regular at the club meetings and his absence was noted. A card was signed by all and sent to Gary. Due to a particularly bad hurricane season, to include Maria, a particularly strong hurricane, the club decided to give $500 to the Red Cross for hurricane relief. To end on a good note, in November it was noted that Dave Patton had, earlier in the year, had a very successful trip to the SCCA national runoffs.
In 2017 the Climb to the Clouds, Mt Washington Hillclimb was again held and the club was kept informed of progress through the year by Paul Giblin. One of the earliest highlights was that Subaru of America would be the primary sponsor for the event. Famed Rally Driver John Buffum was tagged to be the chief Steward and Mark Williams would handle timing and scoring. By the end of January 97 tentative entries had been received and the technical committee pared that down to 75 competitors. The Air National Guard was on hand to present “colors” for the opening ceremonies and over 160 volunteers were utilized in various capacities. The July event went off very smoothly and in the end Travis Pastrana was the “King of the Hill.” It was decided that the next “Climb” would be held in 2020. It would take three years to plan another event of this magnitude! As a final note and to give you an idea how big this event was, the “Climb” was broadcast on national television and you can find some professional videos of the event on Youtube.
Although the Climb to the Clouds took center stage, Auto-X was still the core of the club and through the year 118 people competed in our events. Andrew LaValley was the Auto-X director and set up a schedule of 10 events, the first starting in April and the last at the end of October. All events were held at New Hampshire Motor Speedway except for two events in June which were held in Canaan on one week-end. Run times for many events averaged in the mid 40’s with a few in the mid 50’s. An exception were the Canaan events where times were around 80 seconds on both days. The Canaan events quickly became very popular due to the much greater speeds that were achieved. Being a race track, it was difficult to slow the cars, we could only put out so many cones. Around eighty competitors ran each day at Canaan as compared to the NHMS events which brought around sixty. Even at sixty, participation was up from the previous year. It should be noted that timing problems were an occasional problem again this year.
Honk! Honk! New England Hillclimb Association (NEHA) rules this year included one that said all cars needed to have an air horn. This would be used to signal corner workers in the event that a car had gone off course or was in trouble. Drew Young was once again the Hill Climb Director. The first event, held in May was chaired by Drew and co-chaired by Mike Rugerrio. Thankfully, the weather was great and 40 drivers got a total of seven runs over the two day event. Don Taylor chaired the September Ascutney climb. The event saw participation down a bit to only 34 cars but on the bright side, everyone got eight runs in.
Early in the year there was some thought that we might have our annual award banquet at the new Motor Sport Museum but due to limited space and catering costs that plan was scrapped. The banquet was again held at the Concord Holiday as it had been in previous years. As in the previous year the club decided to have a raffle with the proceeds again going to The Speedway Children’s Charity. It was decided that the club would also match raffle proceeds to enhance the donation.
Paul Giblin relieved Howard as President of 2018 but truth be told Paul had also done more than his share of time as President still, it was good to know the club was in good hands. The club membership was down just a bit but still healthy at 206. Sadly, two of those missing from the membership role were life members Corrine Waite and Jerry Venne. Jerry had been a member since the 1960s and was club President in 1971. Jerry was also well known for his involvement with motorsports television.
There was no talk of Wintercross this year. Charlie Parsons did reach out to the BMW club about Newfound Lake ice trials but that was a “no-go” as well. Maybe next year.
The April business meeting brought several items of note. First of all the Dartmouth Cycling club was again looking for “pace cars”. Unfortunately since the event was just a few days away, we were not able to help them this year. Next up was a new budgeting concept proposed by Drew Young. The idea was that each program, Auto-X, Hill- climb, Rally or whatever would have it’s own account. Ultimately it was decided that the program needed more work and was put on hold for now. A final proposal came from President Giblin who proposed that there would be an overall drivers championship. The overall winner would be the one most successful in one rally, one hill climb, and two auto-x events. This proposal met with considerable interest. So who won the championship you might ask? You will have to wait until the annual banquet.
There were a number of miscellaneous items worth mentioning as the year progressed. Rob Widdick became the publicity chair and in addition to getting word of our events out he also became the merchandiser of club shirts, hats, etc. Rob also instituted surveys relative to Auto-X experiences. From this we learned that people wanted new venues…..and to fix the damned timing!! Speaking of new venues, investigation was ongoing as to whether we might use the Club Motor Sport go kart track. Charlie Parsons also asked about doing a benefit Auto-X in Keene if a venue could be found. His wife was looking into the airport and any other possible site. Another note on benefits, Rick Staley asked if he could set up a benefit for the NH Gold Star Families Memorial Project at our Canaan event. Not only did he get an affirmative but the club voted to donate $250 to the cause.
With the drivers championship happening we needed to make sure we did some rallies. The first was supposed to happen in April but was ultimately moved to July. The event was to be a scavenger hunt rally and would benefit the Kevin Young Scholarship Fund. Twenty three teams participated with both the driver and co-driver earning points for the driver championship. To make it just a bit more fun, the wearing of Hawaiian shirts was encouraged. The Turkey Rally, held November 11, was the second Rally. It was intended that this event would end with a slow speed lap of the new Club Motor Sport track. Sadly, due to questionable weather we were not able to tour the facility but everyone had a good time anyway and I think everyone found the finish.
Nick Wilson was director of the Auto-X and set up a schedule of ten events, most of which were held at NHMS. The exception being the Canaan Duel/Dual events held the week-end of July 28-29. Participation was good at just under 60 for the early events and Canaan brought out almost 80 on both days. Most events gave competitors around 10 runs with the final event, having a lower turnout (43 drivers) offering 15 runs. Momma Mia!! It might be noted that with social media (FaceBook,etc.) it was now common to find lots of pictures online. In addition to the Auto-X events, the club also held Novice Auto-X schools in May and August both were well received. Despite having a large number of runs at all events one of the real stories of the year was timing. Re-runs due to timing issues had become way too common. A committee was formed to investigate a new, wireless timing system and in September a proposal was brought to the club. The club voted to spend $3,100 on the new equipment with the hope that this would solve our timing issues.
On the Hillclimb front, there is a new Director. Mike Ruggerio will be giving Drew Young a break after many years in the post. Drew would stay close incase Mike needed guidance. Mike and Dave Estey would be the spring Ascutney co-chairs. During the spring event the club tested a new wireless communication system although the old wire system was the primary network. Work was advancing on a wireless system to handle both communications and timing. Imagine, running a hill climb without running ANY wire? For the September event the wireless timing was tested again and got very positive feedback. Turnout was decent at 43 competitors attacking the mountain. As the year wrapped up Paul Giblin noted that plans were already beginning for the 2020 Climb to the Clouds Hillclimb.
Donna Stevens once again chaired a fantastic Awards Banquet/Holiday Party at the Concord Holiday Inn. As usual there was good food, camaraderie, awards, again a benefit raffle, and, of course the Yankee Swap. At the banquet Howard Roundy was also awarded life membership for his many years of service and devotion to the club. The annual banquet is always a good time. What’s that? Driver’s championship? It was a close race but in the end Josh Bruce beat out Jason Slattery for the championship.
There was new blood running the club in 2019 in fact nearly all of the elected positions were new to club management. Nick Wilson was President with Rob Widdick acting as VP. The membership was down slightly this year at 189. Meetings started out at the WindMill Restaurant, a venue that had been our home for many years. Sadly, due to changes in closing time it became apparent that it was time to move. The Makris Restaurant was suggested and starting in February became our new gathering place. As the administration was all new this year an advisory board was proposed and established. This board consisted of Paul Giblin, Howard Roundy, Drew Young, George Young and Gary Brundrett. The advisory board would be available should the new administration have questions or need guidance. Early in the year the passing of Jerry Driscol was noted. Jerry had been very active on the hill climb scene. Also early in the year a number of changes were proposed to the club By-Laws. These most had to do with the creation of committees, like the advisory, and defining duties of new positions.
On the Auto-X scene we had a new director with Rick Staley. An aggressive twelve event schedule was proposed. Most of these would be at New Hampshire Motor Speedway but there would be two weekends at the track in Canaan, one in June and one in July. Each weekend would have two separate events. That is what we planned, however some very severe weather caused considerable damage to the track in Canaan so that the July events were “washed out.” Participation at the early events was good with most events having entries near or better than 70 as the year wore on the entry level dropped to the upper 40’s. The events were generally short with most having average times in the mid 40’s. The Canaan events were different, of course with average times running in the mid 70’s. In addition to our own events the club also partnered with the New England Region of SCCA for an Auto-X at the Speedway in August. It was a good event and there was heavy participation by SCCNH members. The final event at the end of year was a benefit as a memorial to Greg Makris who owned the restaurant where the club’s monthly meetings were held. The event was well attended and the Makris family appreciated our efforts. Another Auto-X note, this year we started posting run times in “real time” so that competitors could check times on their mobile phones. This was thanks to Calvin Demerath who, over the past couple of years had become “the man” and was crucial in moving our Auto-X timing forward. Always on the hunt for new venues we were excited to receive news that an Auto-X on the Club Motor Sport go kart track had been approved, however when it got into details there were issues which made this spot a “no go.” A final thought relative to Auto-X, this year we had a couple of serious off course excursions. One was at Canaan where a car hit a building with damage resulting. That car was impounded by Canaan management until payment was made for the repairs. Another incident happened at NHMS which fortunately caused no damage but did cause some concern. At drivers meetings after the second incident drivers were reminded that there were no big purses or trophies to be won but that driving beyond one’s capabilities could cause damage which would ultimately be the responsibility of the driver.
On the Hillclimb front there was a lot of “buzz” about wireless timing and communications. Ian Cook got deeply involved with this and along with Corey Hudson, put in a great deal of effort to come up with a system that would work for not only Ascutney but also for the Climb to the Clouds to be held in 2020. The spring Ascutney event was run on a short (roughly two mile) course and was well received. Wireless timing and communications were tested at the event and showed great promise. The fall Ascutney was a sell out with sixty drivers competing. The “wireless team” continues to tune the system but progress was very encouraging.
There were other events that were talked about but just didn’t work out this year and first among them was the “Drivers Championship” introduced in 2018. No one came forth to administer the championship. Early in the year Rob Widdick proposed having a charity car show. There was little interest in this event either but in July a number of members represented the club at a show in Pelham. The club donated $150 to the food drive being held at that event. The September meeting was held at Ray Boissoneau’s vintage garage and car museum. At the meeting Ray announced that he would be moving to a location in Laconia. The club immediately offered to help move all of his valuable cars and memorabilia. Charlie Parsons volunteered to be the contact man for the club. The club did have a TSD rally in November. It started on Manchester street in Concord and sent participants driving all over the countryside ending up, finally, at the home of Rob and Brittni Widdick in Deerfield.
As the year wrapped up it was time for the annual awards banquet/Holiday party. Paul Giblin, Brittni Widdick, and George Young stepped forward to chair the event. The Makris, our monthly meeting spot, became our host. Although the venue seemed a bit “cozy” it did the trick and all of the usual fun and merriment ensued.
This year could be summed up in one word, “COVID 19.” The year started out well enough with all of the officers being carried over. Gary Smith would be the Auto-X chair and had a good schedule established and the Hillclimbs were in good hands with Mike Ruggerio. In January the news carried stories of “some virus” that had started in China but we were assured it was nothing to worry about. By March things had changed and that little virus, Covid 19, was having a major effect on all our lives. It turns out that the virus was very contagious and also potentially deadly. Covid was affecting people worldwide and in the U. S. alone hundreds of thousands of people died. Federal, state, and local governments were all struggling to institute measures to limit the spread of the disease. In New Hampshire we were asked to not go out unless necessary and then to wear a mask as well as keep six feet away from others. Because of these measures and the closing of many restaurants club meetings began to be held remotely via “Zoom.” The state also prohibited large gatherings, like our Auto-Xs. The state of Vermont took it a step further and insisted that anyone entering the state quarantine for two weeks. This made running the Mount Ascutney Hill Climbs impossible.
By May things were beginning to loosen up just a bit and it looked like if we used masks when within six feet of each other, we could hold events. Finally in July, we held our first Auto-X and everyone was overjoyed to be “out” again. A couple weeks later we held a weekend of events at Canaan. In those early events a controversy arose. Some of the club management took a relaxed attitude toward covid and the states protocol on how to run events. Others took the issue far more seriously and thought that the club had a responsibility to insure minimum risk of exposure at our events. As it turned out, new social norms took care of the problem as people began to accept mask usage in their daily lives…and at our events.
Although the Auto-Xers had at least a partial season the Hillclimbers were left out in the cold. Vermont maintained their quarantine requirement for most of the year making events at Ascutney an impossibility. The only bright spot for the Hillclimb competitors was a non-club event held late in the year. Mike Ruggerio arranged an event at the Club Motorsports Track with an invitation going out to the usual Hillclimb competitors. The event would be a time trial utilizing most of the track with the exception of the front straight. It was a great event and many Hillclimbers and some Auto-Xers were fortunate to gain exposure to this beautiful new track.
As the year progressed and people got comfortable with covid protocols a Turkey Trot rally was held in November. The event started at Carlson’s Auto Sales and ended at The Red Blazer, both in Concord. There are rumors that there are still rally competitors wandering around central New Hampshire looking for the next checkpoint.
Wrapping up the year there was a desire to hold some kind of Holiday Gathering. Sadly, an in person event was not possible so a Zoom party was proposed. Brittni Widdick set up the party and about a dozen or so people got online to play games and chat. It was a great time getting to see everyone.