SCCA Announces 2011 Hall of Fame Class
TOPEKA, Kan. (Dec. 8, 2010) -- Sports Car Club of America has revealed the names of four individuals and one team who will be inducted into the SCCA Hall of Fame at the 2011 National Convention, based on their significant contributions to the sport and the organization.
The SCCA National Hall of Fame was created in 2004 to preserve, protect and record the history and accomplishments of the Club by acknowledging those members who have made a significant impact on the development of SCCA, be it through service to the national organization, achievements in national competition or brining national recognition to SCCA. Nominations were submitted to and reviewed by the Hall of Fame Nomination and Selection Committees. Of the nominated individuals, five were selected for the 2011 Class, including Karen Babb, John Bishop, Jim Fitzgerald, Tracer Racing (Chuck Billington and Tom Foster) and Harro Zitza.
Karen Babb has excelled in every facet of SCCA Solo activities, including designer, administrator and event organizer, at the Region, Division and National levels of competition. Her 20 Solo National class wins is more than any other driver in the sport, a remarkable run that has come in 31 consecutive Solo National events. In addition to driving, Babb has equally shared the preparation of her D Modified Lotus Elan with her husband, Ron. Babb served many years on the Solo Events Board and remains active as Secretary of the Board where she carefully crafts and modifies the language in the rulebook to the benefit of all competitors. Babb's work as a course designer has served as a model for a generation of members who have made Solo course design an area of specialty.
One of the most respected leaders in the history of American road racing, John Bishop joins the SCCA Hall of Fame in 2011. Hired by SCCA in 1956 to run its Contest Board, he conceived and implemented classification of race cars by their potential, not just by their displacement. His other duties consisted of defining technical rules and the general administration of SCCA competition. Bishop became Executive Director of SCCA in 1962 and focused on building professional racing interests. Bishop created the U.S. Road Racing Championship series, followed by Can-Am, Trans-Am and Formula 500. He revamped the SCCA Club Racing program to determine a National Champion in every class, an effort that led to the creation of the SCCA National Championship Runoffs.
Jim Fitzgerald was the most successful driver in the history of SCCA National Club Racing, earning more than 350 National race wins and two National Championships at the SCCA Runoffs during his 30-year career. In addition to his Club Racing career, where he spent many years behind the wheel of a Datsun, Fitzgerald earned 12 top-10 finishes in just 26 starts in the Trans-Am Series through the 1970s and 80s. "Fitzy" was also a renowned driving instructor until his tragic death behind the wheel at the St. Petersburg Grand Prix in 1987. The Jim Fitzgerald Memorial, including bronze bust and plaque, still stands at Road Atlanta, where he instructed for many years. The Jim Fitzgerald Rookie of the Year award has been presented annually since 1987 to the Club Racer showing the greatest promise during his or her first season of National Competition.
Tracer Racing was formed in 1979 by San Francisco Region drivers Chuck Billington (1940-2006) and Tom Foster (1949-1999). Each driver had been successful independent drivers, but even though they lived near each other, they hadn't met until Foster's crew chief brought a part into Billington Welding to be repaired, setting up a meeting at subsequent race. The pair began running in C Sports Racing, a natural fit, as Billington experimented with different chassis and engine ideas, and Foster loved to design different car body styles. Billington and Foster each earned enough points to qualify for the 1978 SCCA National Runoffs at Road Atlanta. Chuck told his family, friends and crew members it would be a once in a lifetime experience. Twenty years later, with 13 National Championships, six for Chuck and seven for Tom, Tracer Racing decided to call it quits.
The SCCA Hall of Fame induction for Harro Zitza follows career accomplishments that include winning the John McGill and Woolf Barnato Awards. Zitza raced Porches for many years and participated in the SCCA National Championship Runoffs as a competitor. He was a well-regarded Steward for many years. He served on the SCCA Board of Governors and was also Chairman of the Club's Competition Board. During his tenure on the Comp Board he developed the concept of an SCCA Spec Car that would eventually become the Spec Racer class. He also aided the development of tube-frame cars in Club Racing.
Babb, Bishop, Fitzgerald, Tracer Racing and Zitza will be inducted into the SCCA Hall of Fame at the 2011 SCCA National Convention in Las Vegas.
The five inductees will join the six previous classes, including:
2005: Cameron Argetsinger, A. Tracy Bird, John Fitch, Arthur Gervais, Harry Handley, Vern Jaques, Bill Milliken, Sue Roethel, Art Trier and Rob Walker.
2006: John Bornholdt, John Buffum, Mark Donohue, Denise McCluggage and Grant Reynolds. 2007: Marge Binks, Marc Gerstein, Carl A. Haas, General Curtis E. LeMay, and Theodore F. Robertson.
2008: Roger E. Johnson, Don and Ruth Nixon, Kjell Qvale, Robert Ridges and Fred Schmucker.
2009: Bill Chambres, Bill Johnson, Kim Kimberly, Paul Newman and John Timanus
2010: Nick Craw, Briggs Cunningham, R. David Jones, Burdette "Berdie" Martin and Wayne Zitkus
For more information on the SCCA Hall of Fame and the 2010 SCCA National Convention, visit www.scca.com.