RENO, Nev. (June 17, 2008) – The first SCCA Club race at Reno-Fernley Raceway, The Charles Schwab Bank Race to Reno, went off without a hitch, June 14 – 15. The inaugural event witnessed great weather, lots of enthusiastic volunteers, total support from track management and racers from up and down the West Coast and as far away as Florida.
Some of the on-track highlights of the weekend included: Reno's Tom Gardner taking the event's first checkered flag in his vintage McLaren Can-Am car, a David-and-Goliath battle between the GT-Lite MGB of Hermosa Beach's Brian Linn and the GT-1 NASCAR Ford of Reno's Mike Cesario; and Carson City's Donna Gilio scoring two class wins in back-to-back race groups (her Formula Enterprises victory was a thing of beauty, after an early spin dropped her to third).
There were many high spots to the weekend, perhaps none higher than the great barbeque dinner Saturday night that was free to all volunteers and drivers -- the tri-tip was delicious, and the huge banquet tent was filled with people who were obviously enjoying themselves.
A total of 87 racers started in the seven race groups. The figure for total entries will be somewhat higher, as there are always cars that break during practice and qualifying. One of those was Reno's Vic Chalk, whose Civic had its engine expire on Friday. Another sad story belongs to Joe Pratt, a member of Reno Region's race planning committee (among other contributions, Joe secured the title sponsorship from Charles Schwab Bank, and naming the event the "Race to Reno" was his idea). After starting fifth, Joe's Spec Racer Ford broke its gearbox just one lap into his race.
Watch for more about the event in this month's Road & Tach newsletter, coming later this month. Meanwhile, how about a "cyberspace round of applause" for our intrepid event organizers, Dave and Carol Deborde. They worked on this event for months, they seemed to be everywhere at once during the weekend, and they produced an event that left smiles on the faces of drivers, crews, volunteers, stewards and track management. If you get a chance, let Dave and Carol know how much you appreciate what they accomplished.