The PHA Banquet Invite has been added to the "downloads" section of this webpage. The banquet will be held on 11/10/12.
Solo event #7 on August 12th has moved to the Schuylkill Mall in Frackville, PA.
Solo event #6 has moved from 7/8 to 7/29. The event will still be at the Schuylkill Mall as scheduled.
Solo event #4 has moved from 6/3 to 6/10. The event will still be at the Wyoming Valley Mall as scheduled.
Weatherly Hillclimb Association honored by PHA
By Dino Oberto ….. "Keeping Track"
(WEATHERLY, PA) On October 15, 1961 the Weatherly Rotary staged the first Weatherly Hillclimb which took place on Evergreen Valley Road. Arthur "Bud" Faust of Wilkes-Barre won the climb and racers have been coming out every year since to challenge the nationally recognized one mile course.
Fifty years later and the event shows no signs of slowing. Matter of fact the popularity of this unique motorsports venue which pits man and machine against a mountain is bigger now than it has ever been.
The race is run under the direction of the Weatherly Hillclimb Association and sponsored by Fairway Subaru of Hazle Township. It is a sanctioned member of the Pennsylvania Hillclimb Association (PDA), which oversees all of the hillclimbs throughout the Pennsylvania, Maryland and West Virginia region. SCCA is also a sanctioning body of Weatherly.
Weatherly is by far one of the most popular stops on the PHA circuit as drivers haul in from as far south as Florida, the Mid-West, New England and Canada not to mention to a very strong contingent of local racers.
Renowned hillclimb racer George Bowland from North Carolina owns the course record with a time of 47.17 seconds. He set that mark in the fall of 2010.
Because of its reputation and the widespread support the event gives back to the community, the Weatherly Hillclimb Association was lauded by the PHA and inducted into the their Hall of Fame during a special awards ceremony held last November in Grantville.
The entire group was on hand to receive the accolades and a special plaque commemorating the honor. This marked the first time such an award was given to a group rather than individually.
"That's what made it so special, to be honored as a group and to have them recognize all of our active members," said Joe Cyburt, association president and hill racer.
"It was a fantastic year in 2011, reaching our milestone 50th year. But for us we treat every event like it's our 50th anniversary. Everyone is that special to us."
What the Weatherly Hillclimb has evolved into is more than a race event. It has become part of the fabric of the borough and thanks to Cyburt and the rest of the association the twice-a-year race up the hill has become a major player in the town's community affairs.
"The local businesses and youth and church groups all prosper from the race and it has helped put us on the map," said Cyburt.
"When the out of town folks are here for the race they are always impressed at how much the community is involved. We always strive for that. We make it so that there is much more than just the racing. We're very focused on being family oriented."
Spectators are never charged to attend the race. Instead youth, church and civic organizations from within the town have concessions setup to help raise funds. Plus the Weatherly Hillclimb Association makes contributions. Last year over $14,000 was raised and spread back into the community.
"It's a great honor that the Pennsylvania Hillclimb Association regonized us," said Mayor Tom Connors.
"It's a fantastic event that the whole community is blessed with and the family atmosphere is great plus the best part is that it's all free. The hillclimb is a real boost for our economy here in Weatherly. For a little town it's a pretty big thing."
Cyburt noted that much thanks also goes to Fairway Subaru as well as State Senator John Yudichak,State Representative Doyle Heffley and the US National Guard.
This year's Weatherly Hillclimb events will take place on June 9-10 and September 15-16 with over 100 cars expected at each date.
Area Sports Car racers honored during annual awards banquet
By Dino Oberto …. "Keeping Track"
(HAZLE TOWNSHIP, PA) With a membership that exceeds over 65,000, the Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) proudly boasts one of the most active participation groups in motorsports. There are over 2,000 amateur and professional racing events each year across 115 regions in North America which includes a strong presence in this area through the Northeastern Pennsylvania Chapter of the SCCA.
The NEPA-SCCA enjoyed another banner year in 2011. Their events where staged at a variety of venues which included road courses, hillclimbs and auto crosses.
In celebration of the past season the group gathered for their annual awards banquet which took place on February 11 at Best Western Genetti Inn and Suites in Hazle Township.
Oscar Kovelski, one of the most well-known road racing figures in this area, was the guest speaker. He elaborated on the rich history that the NEPA-SCCA has had and he also talked in debt about the strong relationship the late Dr. Joe Mattioli, founder of Pocono Raceway, had with them.
Each year since 1971 the Pocono Sports Car Grand Prix has been run on the track's road course, making it the longest continually presented race in the history of the famous Long Pond speed plant. 2011 marked the 41st running of the event.
While on the subject of Pocono Raceway, Kovelski also recognized longtime member and chapter Treasurer Joe Wilkie of Wilkes-Barre who had participated in the very first IMSA event and both Formula Vee and Formula Ford road racing events which took place in October 1969.
When it came time for the awards portion of the evening, current members received numerous honors for the past season's achievements.
The Bud Faust "Most Improved Road Racer" trophy went to Jack Maloney, a native of Conyngham who currently resides in Potomac, Maryland. Jack finished second in each of the last three road races of the year and tallied a handful of third place finishes. He was among the top five in his class all season.
The Weatherly Hillclimb is a huge part of the NEPA-SCCA as well as several other such race sites the group competes at including Giant's Despair in Wilkes-Barre Township. Matt Kujat, Jr., of Freeland won the Dan Lipperini Sr., "King of the Hill" award as the hillclimb driver of the year for his accomplishments in the Pennsylvania Hillclimb series.
Kujat, a 20-year old second generation racer who is junior at King's College, either won, placed second or set at new course records at each hillclimb event he ran last year.
Whenever you mention road racing in Northeast Pennsylvania Hugh Maloney's name immediately comes up in the topic. He is a well-respected seasoned veteran of area and national road racing with SCCA and deservedly received the coveted "Oscar Kovelski Road Racer of the Year" trophy.
As he has done many times before, Maloney once again qualified for the SCCA National Championship Runoffs in the Formula Vee class and ran strong at the annual showdown held in late September at Road America in Elkhart Lake Wisconsin.
The "Mike Drayer Award" was presented to John Maloney of Conyngham, brother of Hugh, for being a club member working for an extended period of time. He has been a Membership Chair for the past 12-years.
The Tim Mayer "Best New Road Race Driver" went to Chris Elwell, a native of Moscow who now resides in New Bedford, MA. Elwell is a member of Team Maloney Racing. He obtained his novice road racing license in 2011 and finished as a regular on podium all summer.
John "Giz" Brezinitsky of Freeland received the Joe and Dee Wilkie "Member of the Year" award for his help with club activities.
The popular "Horses Derriere" a yearly comedic award which goes to a member who during the past season had a forgettable incident that is also worth years of ribbing, all in good humor, was given to Andy Bower of Paxinos. Last year Bower was an outstanding member who excelled where he shouldn't have.
The Marty Newman "Solo Worker of the Year" was awarded to Dave Walter of Williamsport.
Charles Koulik of Wilkes-Barre was named the Barry Sarr "Solo Driver of the Year" for his great driving and national competition placing in 2011.
The following class championship awards were also presented to the following.
A Stock, Geno Marola, Lehighton. C Stock, Kim Hall,Bethlehem. G Stock, Cory Hockenbury, Sugarloaf. H Stock, Ron Sibulsky, Catasaqua. B Street Prepared, Mark Engles, Scranton. C Street Prepared, Jason Popeck, Bear Creek. D Street Prepared, Chris Dressler, Paxinos. E Street Prepared, Rob Springer, Harrisburg. A Modified, Steve Marsh, Hunlock Creek. Street Touring, Adam Koback, Barnesville. Street Touring S, Henry Pascucci, Edwardsville. Street Touring X, Mike Ferrucci, West Chester. Street Touring U, Paul Fink, Cogan Station. Street Modified, Spencer Matter, Williamsport. Street Modified F, Chase Carpenter, Lehighton. Junior Kart A, Nate Engles, Scranton.
NEPA-SCCA is a core group of racers that are committed to the tradition of road racing. They could be considered the best kept secret in area racing with some of the best events that are all closely run amongst the various classes.
Welcome to the 2012 racing season.
NEPA Club Racer John Yarosz won his first National in his STO Chevrolet Corvette on 1/7/11 at Sebring. John is from Swoyersville, Pa. Join me in congratulating him on his big win.
You can also read about it on www.scca.com in the Club Racing section or by clicking here.
Click the "Downloads" link on the left to view/print the 2011 NEPASCCA Banquet information and invite.